- Many if not modern discussions (at least those that have the potential to be stimulating) seem to devolve into a “red v blue / right v left” battle. I don’t think that is very productive. Here is why. In my experience, if you want someone to accept the fact that you might have a valid point of view, yelling at them is counterproductive. While I certainly can’t be accused of being “Miss Manners,” I will suggest that decorum is a good thing; I refer not to some false ‘superficial cordiality’ (aka passive-aggressive) but rather an honest, genuine respect for the fact that we each have opinions, and that neither one of us have a monopoly on truth. Long past are the days when Tip O’Neill and President Reagan battled during the day, and sat down and visited during the evening. More’s the pity.
- I am concerned about America, precisely because of the nature of the national dialogue to which I referred in #1. I believe we can be accused of ‘fiddling while America suffers.” We have become so preoccupied with maintaining the legitimacy of our personal point of view (an artifact of the whole ‘me’ thing) that we have lost sight of what I believe is really important – being wise stewards for the brief period in which we can have influence. Life is short, we’re blowing our chances and (drum-roll, personal opinion follows) America is divinely inspired and merits a lot more than we (citizenship bestows not only rights, but also responsibilities) are giving her right now.
- Oh — there are the “water seeks its own level” (or let’s just agree that we agree, and the other guys, well … they’re _____) type of discussions. You know what I mean). They’re always fun and so self-satisfying. That means you don’t even engage with someone who may have a differing point of view.
Wait. Maybe we should forge a new trail. Building consensus on compromise. Picking out the best parts of many points of view. What do you think? Are you game?
I think I am.