Sunday, August 5, 2012

Can we talk?


What happened? Please, somebody tell me.

Does anybody remember when we used to talk instead of scream into each others' faces? There was this thing we called "Civil Discourse." It meant that people from different sides of an issue could sit down and talk with each other without leveling vile accusations across the table. We didn't always settle the issue. Sometimes we agreed that we disagreed. Then we shook hands and went our ways.

That was then. Now is another issue altogether. Now, Republicans are all Nazis or Fascists. Democrats are all Communists, or Socialists, or whatever you decide you hate worse. The language of debate has turned inflammatory on a level I don't ever remember seeing before.

Whatever happened to our manners?  When I was young, we addressed each other using "Sir" and Ma'am." We spoke politely when we differed. Now, stereotypes and labels have replaced propriety and common manners. We rush to judge, and we ALL do it. Don't tell me you don't. I speak to everybody involved in the debate here. And wherever you point that finger, remember three more are pointing right back at you.

When was the last time you began a statement with "X just wants to...." or "Y just thinks that..."? The Left just want Big Brother. They want to spend, spend, spend the United States into oblivion, declare an emergency and declare a dictatorship so they can put everybody on a government program. The Right want to throw Grandma off a cliff. They want poor people to all become sick and die. They all want dirty air and dirty water. They want tax breaks only for rich people while struggling families have to pay more. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

Come on, people. We're all so busy telling each other what they want, nobody is taking the time anymore to stop and ask, "Why would anyone in their right mind want THAT?" Can we actually ask what the other side wants anymore?

Now, I know about Talk Radio. I also know about the press and its propaganda. I actually had a class on how to spot it, if you want to believe that. And folks, we are spending a whole lot of time getting led around by our noses. Everybody is so busy blaming the other side anymore, they can't see that they themselves are guilty of the same things.

I know a lot is at stake when you're a free country in crisis during an election year. I'm free with my criticism toward both sides of the debate. I agree with one thing our current president says: "What we have are two different directions the country can go in." Then I have to bite my tongue when he goes off on an angry rant about how I want to murder poor people in their sleep and eat babies because I don't think my government has the common sense to run a lemonade stand, let alone control a massive health care bureaucracy that introduces nearly a hundred new agencies and programs.

Now, I'm going to finish up. And I'm going to welcome comments. But people, you better keep this discussion civil because I will not put up with inflammatory rhetoric on my blog. We are not the WWE, we are free Americans (And my welcome guests from other countries, God Bless you) with rights to free speech, and also the responsibility to tell truth. And aside from a handful of us here, I know most of us are not telepaths or empaths. Maybe a few sociaopaths and psychopaths, but so far as I know, nobody here can read anyone else's mind from a thousand miles away. Even if you can, don't try.

So instead of reading each others' minds, and without name-calling or accusations,

Can we just talk?


  1. Thanks for this post, Cyrus!

    One thing I've always liked about you is how respectful you are when people disagree with you. (And this is coming from someone who is often the polar opposite of you politically. . . . :) )

    Some of my best friends and I are complete opposites when it comes to politics and religion, but I like that we can be civil when we debate (or argue--it sometimes gets passionate. ^^)

    I think one of the problems is that people are afraid to get out of their comfort zone. Thus, they automatically seek out news articles or sources that fit their worldview and confirm their worse fears, then they never question when those sources give them crazy ideas.

    I've been guilty of the above. In fact, this summer, I challenged myself to read newspapers and commentators from the other side of the political spectrum. Oh my. How angry I was at first, but I finally found some good ones that give a well-reasoned argument from that side and that I enjoy reading, even if I still ultimately end up disagreeing with it.

    And just to jump in feet first on the health care debate: I do support national health care--especially after doing a research paper on the abortion issue, oddly enough--however, I can totally see why conservatives are apprehensive about the proposed program. I myself keep wondering about the funding for it. :(

    Anyway, this has been my rambling way of saying, "Nice post!" :D

  2. Thanks, Z. It's just something that's been burning in my heart for the last few months.

    Myself, I'm terrified of the spending binge our governments is on, and from personal experience with the FAA I can tell you the money will NOT be well spent.

    On the abortion issue, I do believe life begins at conception. I don't think all abortions should be outlawed, but I believe it should not be a matter of convenience to take a baby's life. The issue I have is the re-labeling of a child to "pregnancy tissue." Creative propaganda is one thing that truly makes me angry.

    1. And here we get into a difficult area. I'm not sure whether or not life begins at conception -- perhaps it does -- but what I do believe is that the woman has the right to make decisions about her own body.

      I disapprove of people who abort simply for convenience -- but that's my issue. It doesn't affect my beliefs about my priorities on this.

    2. See, folks? THIS is what I'm talking about. Thanks, Marge. We don't agree on some things, and yes, ultimately it's the mom's choice. But why are there organizations and entities whose priotity is to mask what really happens and what a "fetus" really is? It's a heavy decision, and should never be taken lightly. And we might agree that a doctor should never be forced by government regulations into taking an action that, to him or her, amounts to the killing of an innocent.

    3. Oh, I agree. Forcing the doctor as just as bad IMO as forcing the mother to do something.

      Here's something that's a bit more in the gray area as I see it: are we entitled to withhold public funds in cases (not just this on) where the recipient doesn't "toe the line" on public policy?

    4. Isn't that the same as punishing someone for their moral or religious beliefs?

      It's one of the reasons I have trouble with government programs in the first place. The funding and handouts are handled by bureaucrats who care nothing for the person in question, and are all about numbers and policy. Private an locally funded agencies are far more efficient and can handle issues on a case by case basis.

  3. You had me all the way through paragraph six (or paragraph seven if you count the opening sentence as a paragraph), then you slipped and showed me what you really think. You do a good job of cloaking your bias in civility right up to the point where you state that you have to "bite your tongue..."
    At this point I will 'bite my tongue' and leave the discussion.

    1. So, this is a prime case in point. One, the poster doesn't even want me to know who they are. Number two, I'm willing to bet they think they know me. Political ESP, folks. I've already deleted one post by "anonymous." Any further postings by "Anonymous" will be deleted without mercy. Let's learn to disagree without being disagreeable.

  4. I'm a conservative who read a very a good article on the whole Chick-Fil-A and freedom of speech issue by a liberal. I like it when both sides are willing to take a look at the other's side and disagree but at the same time be respectful.

    There still are those out there with totally different world/political views that talk respectfully. My sister and her best friend being prime examples. It's very refreshing that neither is trying to convert the other to their own views. They even made a pact not to do that. Which means politics/religion don't get discussed much, but hey.

    What I loathe most is getting grilled on my political views and then getting the cold shoulder or a hateful rant (I'm not sure which I hate more.)

    Anyways, I hate hate :-P

    Btw, Becoming NADIA is on my to-be-read list O:) I read an excerpt last month and really enjoyed it. If you ever write any YA or MG, I'd like to interview you on my blog.


  5. Thanks, Beth. I wouldn't know if I wrote YA, if it jumped up and bit me on the nose. I may have to try my hand at MG, once I figure out what age group I would be writing for.

    Back on task, I find it interesting to say the least that some find it necessary to hide themselves behind a wall on anonymity and snipe at me for posting this entry this week. I welcome all viewpoints, even if I don't agree with them.

  6. Nice post Cyrus. It's so sad - the Good Ole US of A is becoming more and more divided everyday. I certainly have my own views (politically) but I will take the coward's way out and wait until I'm obscenely rich and famous before stating my views - LOL


  7. About twenty years (or perhaps more) ago, a news magazine, Insight, started, and offered me a free subscription. In spite of the fact that I consider myself a liberal and the magazine's bent was clearly going to be conservative, I sighed up eagerly -- I'm a voracious reader, and, hey, if someone is going to offer me free reading material, I'll take it.

    The magazine, at least at the time, was very well-balanced, and the articles while from a conservative POV, always made their priorities clear. I saw that, in many -- perhaps most -- cases, the difference in liberal and conservative takes on an issue came from priorities - do I believe protecting wildlife or protecting industry is more important, and secondly -- and IMO this is colored by our beliefs -- how likely we think a particular outcome will be.

    If we could all take that in, we'd have a lot more civil discourse.

  8. I myself am a firm believer in preserving clean air an water for our children. I love nature, love being out in it, and I get irate when I see anyone discard trash on the ground. But I'm tired of being labeled a polluter because I believe government wetlands regulations are burdensome, ineffective, and a waste of public funds. Margie, I'm with you 100%. what people seem to be missing here is the Common Ground on many issues. I agree that on some, there won't be much if any. But we have to start talking sometime, or I'm afraid the next wave of violence could be something that changes our country forever for the worst.