Thursday, February 11, 2016

Primary Season

Two women, one who I went to elementary school with and one high school friend, both chimed into a social media post attacking a political figure. It doesn’t matter who or what side of the fence. It was ugly. In their comments, I couldn’t recognize the girl who has at my 3rd grade birthday party or the young woman I sang songs with. How did we all get here?

The orgy of divisiveness goes on, thanks to talk radio, political commentators and satirists and other unaccountable opinion shapers on both sides of the imaginary political divide that’s been created.  The system creates monsters, labeled “liberal,” “conservative,” “tea-bagger,” “socialist,” “neo-fascist,” and so on. Whining and contempt fill the airwaves and internet.

We have two dominant noisemaking ideologies, each with polished talking points and righteous certainty that there’s only one right way, only their side knows what that is.

We have a major election coming that will leave somewhere around half the country thoroughly despising whoever wins, unwilling to support the government or be part of the business of being Americans. It is a lose-lose scenario. A house divided against itself…

How far can we get with ideological intolerance? How long until our enemies exploit the lack of unity to catastrophic effect?

Centrism is discredited as weakness. This is like saying I can balance better with all my weight on one foot. More likely, I end up on my ass.

The real strength and courage are not to be found in ideological purists who snipe and blame the other side for everything from bank and school failures to sunspots and earthquakes.

The real strength and courage are in compromising and working to the middle.  Come back Olympia, Bill Cohen, George. Stay in there, Angus.