We all do it. Or at least I do occasionally. That funny thing about the “other” party shows up on Facebook and we pass it along.
Whatever you think of Congress, it’s a fact that at one time there was a significant middle in Congress that worked together to get stuff done. Increasingly though, our national politics has become more and more extreme, more polarized, more angry.
I’m not so interested in the left or right, the democrat or the republican view at the moment. What I’m really interested in is the level of emotion. Think about the tone for a moment. To help, I’m pulling a few quotes I found in a thirty second Google search:
These defective Democrat governmnet social policies will continue to be promoted by “Hussein HopeChange” and his Democrat lapdogs until a fearless and intellengent group of Republican politicians with a principled conservative backbone, successfully recalls them into oblivion!
Just another Obama, never had a real job or never worked a day in his life. mommy and daddy taking good care of this imbecile brat. Stick his head in some chit and tell him this is what this OWS is all about.
Some of the rhetoric coming from the Republican candidates for president makes me wonder if a group of paranoid schizophrenics weren’t prematurely released from a mental institution…without their meds.
I’m not going to go on, because there’s no point. We’ve all seen it. Labeling of liberals as lazy, asking for government handouts, names like “libtards,””commies,” and much more. Conservatives labeled as reactionary, racist, misogynist and more.
I think it’s clear enough that I come from the left side of the spectrum. But I also think that in the end, we all have to live in the same country. If we want any solutions for our country, we have to find common ground. And we won’t find it by attacking each other, calling each other names, or refusing to even believe in the same set of facts.
If you want to persuade someone to your point of view, then go for it. That’s my goal. But if you want to be successful at it, you’ll have better luck by first understanding where they are coming from. Really understanding. Because compassion and understanding are the first step in real communication.
We look at the outrageous things our politicians are saying to and about each other and we’re shocked. We look at the crazy stuff they propose in legislation and we’re shocked. But the fact is, the crazies in Washington are a reflection of the crazies all over the rest of the country. They’re a reflection of us.
Our representatives in Washington do and say the things they do because they believe that is what will get them elected. Because they believe that we will vote for them because of their words and their actions. And if we want them to dial it back, work together, and make our country a better place, we have to take the lead. And we have to do it by being reasonable and civil to each other, even when we disagree.