With all the presidential primary chatter in the news these days, with political headlines on par with the tabloids and soap operas, I’ve been thinking… Why is it that ordinary Americans generally don’t discuss politics except with others who are of a similar mindset as themselves? There’s the old advice not to discuss politics or religion, but really, aren’t those topics rather interesting and worthy of discussion? Better than the latest sensationalized tragedy or the weather at least. How will we ever find solutions and unity without discussion? And why do we allow the media and extremists to do all the discussing and foster division among us? Perhaps they don’t want true dialogue because the more they can stir things up, the more we feel compelled to watch them to find out the latest scoop or allegations or scandal. Who brought racism into the Hillary/Obama race if not the media? Can we take a few steps back and examine ideas and policies with all their implications instead of just what sounds good, is likely to be popular, and panders to the right groups? Can we consider what’s best for our country for the long-term even if it means making some painful changes of course in the present (like perhaps the Fair Tax or a flat tax or evaluating the socioeconomic effects of welfare or an overhaul of the social security system)? Can we discuss without name-calling, insulting, belittling those who disagree so maybe we can understand each other? Children are scolded for such behavior, yet some adults justify it in the name of humor or entitlement.
I fear for this country because I see a lack of wise, strong leadership in the presidential candidates and in politicians in general; but also because I see Americans who have grown discouraged with the process and the games, who feel powerless and apathetic. “We the people” started this country; somehow we need to take it back. Otherwise, God help us.