Conversations. I’m thinking we need to have some. Not caps lock and bold screams. Not label and insult exchanges. Not simplistic repetitions of the same arguments and counter-arguments. Not quotes pulled from Founding Father types, or historical figures or presidents or celebrities or whoever, that “prove” our point, but get us no closer, and likely further away from, any real solutions.
I’m thinking of the whole gun regulation / Second Amendment thing, but we could plug in any number of subjects: the economy, unemployment, homelessness, global warming, abortion, LGBT equality, immigration reform, racism, sexism, religion and faith, etc.
We don’t have to stay stuck in either / or, right / wrong, us / them arguments. We could try talking with each other, focused on exploring possibilities and creating ideas and actions which address actual problems rather than attempts to win arguments. So many smart, good, caring people can do that kind of thing. Not quickly. Not easily. And not with anything close to a 100% participation. But it seems those kind of efforts would be a much better use of our time and energy and creativity and compassion than continuing to stay stuck in the same circle of arguments.
It doesn’t mean we abandon our convictions or beliefs or whatever. But could we at least stop pounding each other over the head with them? And stop acting as if we have only two choices – as defined by “Republican” or “Democratic”?
I do know I’m far from alone in wanting more conversations that can help bring about changes for the good of real people, not more arguments that perpetuate stereotypes, and a very unhealthy status quo.
To return to the current gun regulation issue, people are having conversations of a thoughtful kind. That shows up in, among other ways, a post from Taylor: CBS/NY Times Poll: 92% of Americans Support Universal Background Checks.
In spite of the extreme rhetoric, in spite of the repetition of very familiar arguments, it’s clear some serious listening and conversing and thinking are going on. I hope we hear more of that from We the People. Maybe that would help push the media and Electeds to join us.
(Want to Argue poster via Cindy’s FB Wall Photos)