Friday, February 03, 2006

Screaming at Each Other

I fail to grasp the strategic or even tactical goal of the venemous name calling that seems to be the stock in trade in politics today.

Given that every human is finite and can muster only finite resources, it seems to be a waste of time -- to read it or to write it. We have a limited time on this earth and a limited amount that we can do.

If the objective is to solve a problem, then we're better off applying those limited resources to that.

There are enough lying and cheating, double-dealing, back-stabbing, dirty, low-down tricks to tar and feather BOTH parties today as well as Whigs and those who came before.

It's a waste of time to wallow in the swamp and get eaten by gators and leeches. We need to drain it instead.

Let me tell you about my neighbor over in Oakville, a decent man who is an ardent New Deal Democrat.

He and I have dinner frequently and we argue and argue and argue. I think he is wrong about many things, although I find more to unite us than separate us. I learn from him in these heated discussions and, perhaps, he takes something away from my remarks.

We keep having these dinners because, overall, we like each other.

And we continue to like each other -- despite stark differences in political viewpoints -- because I RESPECT him and believe his views come from a deeply felt series of beliefs that he has arrived at through his own honest internal struggle. He treats me the same way.

That means I never scream at him that his side "lies" or that he (or they) are "cowards" or a "murderers" or any one of the divisive invectives that the Left and Right hurl at each other.

I know he won't vote for me in 2008, but that's okay. By maintaining a civil dialogue, I learn from him and hold out hope that perhaps I can influence his way of thinking.

All that the vicious shrieking in today's political environment does is to harden hearts and attitudes for core believers and force the rest of Americans to turn away in disgust because it solves nothing.


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