Feb 05 2009
Seriously – it’s going to be a long, unpleasant 4 years if our discourse can’t elevate past “oh look! Obama did something that Bush did and liberals whined about! Let’s go kick some liberals in the teeth” versus “Oh look! obama did something better than Bush did! Let’s go rub it into the faces of the conservatives that Bush lost!”
There are plenty of things worthwhile talking about – and we are all going to have our differing points of view. For instance – I’m not convinced that there’s any way at all for Obama supporters and liberals (not all the same thing) to see eye to eye on the recovery package (conservatives want more tax cuts, liberals want more spending, and depending if they are Obama supporters specifically, or liberals generally, there may be differences on kinds of spending desired). But that’s an ideological difference worth having, without claiming a priori, that anyone doing it differently than how your ideology dictates, is “screwing everything up.” Etc.
As someone who hasn’t been on the liberal side of the fence until Obama became my favorite candidate, this back and forth is wearying, depressing, and really uninviting. Personally – as an Obama supporter, I am genuinely appreciative of the President’s effort to change the tone of dialogue.
Is this what we’ve been reduced to? Years of Clinton/Bush fighting has reduced us to being fundamentally incapable of civil discourse – only able to receive news that suits our own ideas, incapable of even giving real respect to one another? Seems to me the bible spoke about this tendency in people to seek only what they want to hear. I’m sure the Apostle Paul was speaking on more spiritual matters when he said in 2nd Timothy
4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
… but I’m also sure that spiritual conditions affect every other condition. This way we have of dealing with one another is unhealthy, a sickness, no less so than the unhealthy greed and lack of discipline/self-restraint that landed us into this economic mess. If we (liberals/Obama supporters) are angry with Bush for not listening to opposing points of view, how much more should we be doing better? And if we (conservatives) are angry for hypocritical posturing just to pile on to a beleaguered presidency, how much more should we avoid continuing in the same vein? In other words – must we continue this dance? No one seems to be having fun with it – I certainly am not.
Apologies for the judgmental tone of this post, but I mean every word of it, just the same.