Friday, November 11, 2016

Politics

This election season has been intense for me. I don't trust my political discussions to social media or even to blogging. Such conversations are better face-to-face, where nuances can be explored and tone is harder to misinterpret. I have friends (and family!) from across the racial, cultural, sexual, social, economic, and political spectrum, and I continue to believe that we have more in common than we realize.

It's been appalling for me to discover that otherwise kind, sensible people can be incapable of having a rational discussion about things that matter. Frankly, I expected better from them, and by "them" I mean us, myself included.

It's good to be passionate, and emotion certainly has its place. It's essential that we point out where our systems fall short and work to improve them. But when we forget that we're talking to human beings about human beings, we are diminished by our own rhetoric.

Unless we repackage our fear, anger, frustration, and depair, figure out how to use it as fuel, and (this is the key step) act out of love, we become the very thing we oppose.

Truth comes clothed in humor, often enough, and I'm reminded of the old adage about why you should never wrestle with a pig: you get all dirty, and the pig enjoys it.

I sure hope I can remember that.  

[M]y country is the great American Republic. My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. 

                                                        --Senator Carl Schurz

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