Think More Deeply Than You’re Being Asked To

“Democracy is a contact sport. Everyone gets bruises. Even the winners. And the kind of bickering we see today is not only unproductive.

It’s cowardly.

If you don’t have the guts to focus on ideas and stop tearing down individuals, you belong in the stands, not on the field. I want more leaders who are brave enough to focus on ideas and not ad hominem attacks. I want more leaders who are willing to say, “I hate everything she stands for, but I do not hate her. And neither should you.”

And I want more Americans who demand these kinds of debates for the sake of our democracy. Just ideas against ideas, let them fight it out, and if you lose, come back with better ideas.

A rumble can be clenched by a fair fight if you’ve got the guts to risk that. Are millions of Americans ready to start fighting fair for the sake of our democracy? For the sake of solving common problems we all face?”

-Joshua Johnson, Host of NPR’s 1A

This man has summed up a lot of my feelings towards politics. I grew up thinking these leaders of our country were noble people. The best of us. Now all I see are mostly greedy, self serving children who happened to have had enough money and connections to get themselves into a position of power.

When I look at our leaders, I don’t see leaders. And that is what I wish we could have. Truly great people who actually have the best interests of we the people in mind, not just those who could give them the most money.

I want people I can respect. Who take the hard position because it’s what they believe. I just don’t believe any of them anymore. I know there are probably a few out there that are trustworthy and honest people, but I don’t know who they are, and probably won’t, because the truly powerful will find ways to keep them down.

When I see our president personally attacking people with the vocabulary of a pre-teen on twitter, I see someone who has no respect for the office. Behavior like this is below the dignity of the office in my opinion. And I still can’t believe this is the situation we have put ourselves in.

When I see twelve rich, white men, sitting in a locked room deciding the future of healthcare for everyone, I just can’t see a way that it will come out fair for everyone. I see a situation where they will trade the care for millions of Americans, for fatter wallets for the elite.

All I see these days are people taking the easy way out. Finding the most simple form of argument which is usually a personal attack. The prominence of social media is hugely to blame for this. It’s a lot harder for an argument devolve into attacks when you’re looking another human in the eye. You see them. There’s no running away from it. You have to truly use your mind if you want to get your point across. And this is what I want for people. To think more deeply than you’re being asked to in today’s world. Do research, read, form an opinion, read an opposing opinion and try to understand it. Not only will it open your mind to new ideas, but you just might have the same effect on someone else. And who knows where we can go from there.

This is just scratching the surface of how I feel about our current climate. I hope everyday that we can collectively wake up and fix this as a country. I do believe that America is a great place, and that we can be the standard for the world. But not like this. This is how we fall. Divided by people who strive to divide us further. As long as we keep falling for their tricks, I don’t see it ending well.

-A

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