There have always been trying times – it’s part of being human and engaged. But in my adult life, I do not recall circumstances where politics have been as visceral and divisive as now.
In the past, I have voted red and I have voted blue. I have voted for a candidate rather than a platform, believing in the intrinsic good of ethics and moral standing. I know that for every program and point of view that I hold dear, there is an equally powerful position from the other side.
I fear we are losing the ability to discourse. The preference seems to be to throw inflammatory phrases and group all democrats and/or republicans – liberals and/or conservatives – into one lumpy pile. There is little to no recognition of a possible compromise. It’s as if every piece of legislation is a battleground – a fight to be won – no matter the far reaching consequences.
We seem unable to debate or discuss virtues that may not be aligned with our own thoughts. Everywhere I go people are afraid to ‘talk politics.’ They’d rather make nice with family and friends than deal with the emotional exhaustion of disagreements. It is impossible to grow when the only thoughts you are exposed to are ones that reinforce you own ideas.
Maybe it’s time to step back and realize that your sister/uncle/best friend/colleague is not the enemy. They don’t necessarily fit in to any one of the small ideological boxes we try to group those with whom we do not agree. America is an amazing amalgam of thoughts, ideas, races, beliefs and dreams. Our strength is in our collective diversity and ability to learn and grow.
Let’s work our way back to talking with one another … not spitting … and in truly listening to one another, maybe – just maybe – we can experience some true breakthroughs in understanding .