Lately I have been a hotbed of political activity. Everywhere I turn, people are asking me for my opinion on the lay of the political land. I am not being facetious, it's true.
While I have definite political leanings, I love to discuss alternate leanings; I love to hear what you have to say. To have a discussion with friends about what they think, who they like, what they believe in and to contrast that to your own is practically the definition of enlightenment.
Isn’t it amazing when you can have a conversation with someone and feel like you’ve been heard and that you’re hearing them? When your opinion will soften because of their argument and their opinion is equally expanded because of your argument? They’re more than 200 years gone, but the idea of salons isn’t a dream I want to let die.
I have said many times to my friends that I don’t care-care what they believe in as long as they come by their opinions honestly and earnestly—not by hearsay or inheritance. Tell me why you believe what you do, and be ready to back up your opinions, be ready to make your argument.
I don’t like name calling, or assumptions, or meanness, because they are not just divisive, they are corrosive elements designed to keep us from truly congressing with each other. I have been ashamed at the low level of political dialogue—with polemics and saturnine demagoguery on each side. I particularly despise the rumor-mongers and partisan half-truths that emerge from much of radio and television media; it is puerile garbage, and we would all do better to rise above the trickery and base emotion.
One of the worst things to ever happen to our national conversation is the advent of 24 hour news and the demand that the beast be fed, no matter the carcasses that are flung from the fray. What’s the first carcass? Civic and civil dialogue.
This is the time of an election year where I’m usually in full swing: reading, listening, watching, and combing for information. I love the start of election season; it’s been my favorite since 1992. However, this year is different.
Although this is the most exciting race, perhaps one of the most exciting we will see in our lifetimes, I feel a little detached. I am still completely wounded by our last election. My heart hurts for what could have been. It’s not that I was a great fanatic of Kerry, but the alternative? Well, he and his actions will be judged by history, and the rumblings are it will not be a kind assessment. I believe that by and large, we get the government we deserve. What that says about our current state I’d rather not explore.
So, this year, instead of being mean, instead of being derisive, instead of ignoring the tremendous opportunity and burden of a republic, let’s engage.
Don’t accept what people tell you on blind faith, either the talking heads or the demagogues. Do some research, explore what’s being asked of you, do what you can for our country. Go ahead, stop by my desk, come over for cocoa, we should talk about what we want and how we should get there. Let’s open our minds and have a conversation without ridicule and finger-pointing.
Wouldn’t that be a change on which we could all agree?
I thought I would link to some good political discussions and friends who are starting to lend their support to specific candidates. Go ahead, explore a little.
Susie on what lead her to support Ron Paul.
Mandee thinks you should consider supporting Mitt Romney.
Compulsive leads a discussion (salon?) on Mitt Romney's Faith in America speech.
Miggy reflects on the GOP debate and why she might be a Republicrat.
Michelle asks you about media and politics.
Cammie argues 'Why not universal health care?'
Fig on some of the things she's been hearing about all the candidates and why maybe, just maybe, she might be digging Hillary.
Feel free to send me your links and posts about this political season.
I'll try to keep posting different viewpoints as we go down this road.