I don’t intend to spend much time blogging about politics or religion here. It is not because I have no faith in my principles but because I have limited faith in the ability of people to have an honest and civil discussion.
When you aren’t face-to-face it becomes very easy for the conversation to degenerate and turn into something nasty. In reality that happens with more frequency in person than I might like.
Still there will be moments when it makes sense to bring some of the hot button issues onto the blog, especially during an election year.
This Is Not New
A friend of mine told me they hate election years because they can’t stand the politicking and the constant mudslinging.
“Josh, it is just getting worse and I can’t take it.”
I didn’t want to start an argument but I am not convinced that it is truly any worse than before. There is ample evidence that the fighting has been around since the time of the Founding Fathers. The duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr is probably the most famous example.
On the morning of July 11, 1804, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr raised their dueling pistols and took aim. Hamilton, the former secretary of the treasury, and Vice President Burr were longstanding political rivals and personal enemies. Burr might have been the president instead of vice president, had it not been for Hamilton’s interference. When Burr’s term as vice president was almost over, he ran for governor of New York. Hamilton, once again, prevented Burr from winning by opposing his candidacy. Burr retaliated by challenging Hamilton to a duel. Source
What is different between then and now is that we have access to information like we have never had it before. The magic box/tablet/phone you are reading this post upon provides you with a connection to more news than you can digest.
If you aren’t careful you can be buried with more minutiae regarding the most mundane aspects of a person than you can shake a stick at. The problem with this overload of information is that we aren’t doing a very good job of filtering what is important and what isn’t.
The net effect is that our focus doesn’t remain upon whether people can do the job and more upon their foibles and failings. We set them up to fail.
The Human Side
The human side is being neglected. When we spend more time trying to embarrass the opposition than we do on trying to fix the challenges that face all of us we create new issues that aren’t necessary.
When it is more important to be right than to try to help the guy standing on the freeway off ramp there is a problem.
I am not saying I am perfect. I walk around in my own bubble. I have grown accustomed to seeing the homeless on our streets and am not shocked by it. That shouldn’t happen. It shouldn’t be normal to see weathered men and women pushing shopping carts filled with all of their possessions.
The question I ask is when are we going to start focusing again on the human side. When are we going to start tempering our outrage over who gets to marry who and how what kind of gun you can or cannot own so that we can work together to make changes that benefit all of us.
What do you think?