The Elephant/Donkey In The Room

My last blog followed the title of “Things We Don’t Talk About,” and mentioned politics and religion as those things that one doesn’t discuss in polite company. There’s a reason for that. People take sides. People get emotional. I was just on Facebook and just about every post on there took one position or another for one candidate or against another candidate. Everybody is wrong; everybody is right. Can’t we all get along?

I heard recently that the American people haven’t been this polarized since the U.S. Civil War. It’s not the fault of the candidates. They’re just symptoms of a greater problem. It’s society. It’s the media. It’s us. We don’t take time to listen to each other any more. Even when we try to get informed, we listen to those who tell us only what we want to hear, who tickle our ears, who make us feel good about a position we have already taken, rather than challenging us to consider other, newer, fresher ideas.

That’s constipated thinking. And it’s dangerous, for both sides of the fence. It’s how wars start. It’s how our political system has become as polarized as it has. We don’t talk to, we don’t read, we don’t listen to anyone or anything that we don’t agree with. Because if we do, there’s always the danger that we might actually have to admit that we are wrong.

And heaven forbid, we might have to change our mind.