Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Brawling Debate

There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it hardly becomes any of us
To talk about the rest of us.
~Edward Wallis Hoch

The Fight 2012 #1

We're coming to the end of the political campaign.  Finally, we're down to the last weeks before election day.  I; for one, will be glad when it's over.  I can only take so much negativity.  I know it will get more negative before it's over, but at least the end is in sight now.

 I appreciate that these people are willing to make an effort to improve the lives of everyone.  That is an impossible task.  I appreciate that there are many thoughts on how this can be done.  What I don't appreciate is the idea that one party is evil or *fill in the blank with whatever negative word you want*.  Everyone is striving for the same end goal.  I don't believe that any one person or party gets into politics so that they can either damage the world or control it.  (I'd like to think that only happens in books and movies.)   

Why can't we all just get along?  I suppose that's the nature of the beast.  Differing opinions among people with strong opinions lead to heated debates.  What I don't like is people telling me what their opponent did wrong.  When my children get in a fight, I ask what they did.  Once they start veering into telling me what the other did, I stop them.  It just makes me crabby.  Don't keep going on about what the other guy plans to do wrong or has already done wrong.  Tell me what your plans are.  Tell me about the good ideas you have.  Brow beating your opponent just turns me off. 

Can you tell that I watched part of the debate on Tuesday night?  I was in and out of the room.  One would start attacking the other, and I'd leave.  I don't want to hear it.  You don't like what they did; quit blathering on about it and tell me what you would do differently.  It really sounded like a couple of kids each trying to get the other in trouble with the teacher.  I suppose that at some level that's exactly what they were doing. 

You may not agree with my ideas.  You may think I'm way off in what I think is important.  But, that doesn't give you any right to tell me that I'm stupid because of it.  That certainly isn't going to persuade me to agree with your ideas.  Could you maybe just kindly tell me how a different idea could work better?  Can you take my ideas into consideration?  How much does it hurt to listen?  A lot apparently.  I don't think they're mortal flesh wounds, I think it just hurts their pride to admit that the other party may have a good idea or two.  

The players may not be able to hold their tongues, but we're a civilized society.  Mostly.  If you come across someone whose views you disagree with, there is no reason to make disparaging remarks to them about it.  

Until I take over the world, I guess I will just have to spend more time ignoring the political rhetoric. 

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
H. L. Mencken

elephant or donkey?

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