A Talk About Politics. But Not really.
Politics and religion are two things that are likely to get people all wound up and yelling at each other. Or hating each other. I hate that we seem to have become a country where no dissent is allowed – you either toe the party line or you’re outta there.
What’s worse is that we have become so hard-headed that we’d rather see catastrophic things happen (the government shut down, the US default on our debt) than compromise. Collectively, we have come to believe that compromise is a sign of weakness and it must be “my way or the highway.”
Can we grow the hell up?
I was reading a League of Women Voters publication about the candidates and I discovered something that shocked me. Gary Glenn, President of the American Family Association of Michigan, and I actually *agree* on something. It’s a small something, but it is something. We both believe that the process to become an American citizen shouldn’t be so difficult. Gary Glenn and I couldn’t be any more different but we have a common ground.
I have a twitter friend who writes for the Log Cabin Republicans. She sent me a link to some of her writing and guess what? We had some common ground. (In the interests of full disclosure, I can’t remember what it was but I do remember being shocked.)
I think we are all a mix of beliefs. For example, I’m pro-soldier, pro-military-preparedness and anti-war. I think there are few things worth fighting a war over. I am pro-gun and ALSO pro-gun control. I can’t think of one single reason why a person would need a fully automatic weapon. I’m pretty sure that the Founding Fathers weren’t thinking of Uzis. I’m a Christian who believes STRONGLY in a separation of church and state and will argue with anyone who tells me that we are a Christian country, because we expressly are not. (That pesky constitution again.)
What I wish is that we, the collective US we, not just Democrats or LGBTs or The Opposition, would just settle down and open our minds. We have some differences. We certainly do. I wonder if we paid attention to the deeper message and not the sensationalist headlines if we wouldn’t find more on which to agree.
People like this Todd Akin are the exception, not the rule. I know it doesn’t seem like that, does it? Because who do we hear about? Extremists on either side.
Can we stop arguing with our friends and start to listen? Even on very touchy subjects? Can we try to find a way to agree on things? It may be that we aren’t able to change our political process and our politicians but it will lower our collective blood pressure, at the very least.
Tell me what you believe. I want to know. If I don’t agree, we can talk. I will give you the courtesy of listening, if you return the courtesy.