Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You....

I'm just so discouraged by the political dialogue in this country.

How sad is it that the President of the United States can't give a simple speech to our kids encouraging them to stay in school, do their best, and act obediently toward their parents and teachers without members of the opposing party going all apoplectic?

I just fail to see how this is cause for alarm. There's nothing remotely political about President Obama's speech, yet there are parents who are going to pull their children out of school on Tuesday so they won't have to hear the President's propaganda! Are you kidding me?

I heard one mother, from Colorado, I believe, who was quoted as saying that this government scares her. Really? Because I find watching young men and women die in a foreign country so that our (former) vice-president and his pals can get richer and our country can (in theory) have greater access to Middle Eastern oil, and having my civil rights trampled upon by the Patriot Act, and having my child's ability to gain access to the services he needs to get a good education stymied by the No Child Left Behind Act a hell of a lot scarier than our President telling kids to stay in school.

I really think our country is dying. And the reason is that too many people, some of them very smart people, have closed their minds. They've shut down their ability to reason and think for themselves and are unable to do anything other than espouse the party line. They are unwilling to even listen to any thoughts, beliefs, or arguments other than those they already believe in. Until we return to a place where both sides are willing to engage in constructive dialogue with one another and not just shout ugly words like Communist! or Fascist! at the other side, our country will cease to grow and thrive.

This commentator has it right. I couldn't agree more with what he has to say.


ViolinMama said...

Oh yes - THANK YOU!!!! My personal faves:

"Increasingly, the willingness to change one's position on political issues has been misread as a mark of weakness rather than a product of attentive listening and careful deliberation."

I find this goes for matters of faith as well. Faith and much can be learned from listening. I recently learned I needed some perspective and growth both on both local politics, and another on how Mary is viewed on other faiths, such as protestant churches. How sad when people can not open doors to LISTEN and other perspectives?

Same with this: "Any proposal including the words "government-run" elicits cries of "socialism" and "communism." Any argument invoking the words "God" or "moral" sparks accusations of "right-wing extremism," "fascism," or "Bible-thumping." Instead of listening to each other's ideas, we spot the warning label and run the other way."

Thank you....and yes to your view. I may want to raise my kids with certain values or pass on beliefs - but I also have a duty to bring up my children to listen and learn and to think for themselves as well. I think we are losing, as a nation, the ability to BALANCE and LISTEN.

Cranky Mommy said...

You're only allowed to think for yourself if you agree 100% wholeheartedly with everything being said.

I also love it when people do listen and change their mind - or are forced to compromise in order to get ANY thing done - that they're labeled liars.

Yeah, this is too much "of the moment" for me that I can't even think straight enough to form any more of a proper reply right now. I just made a post about it though.

annie said...

Totally agree. And also appreciate that you pointed out that both sides are at fault. As an independent, this inability to compromise, or to have reasonable communication about the issues at hand is completely frightening to me.

Dawn said...

@ViolinMama, we have had friends look at us like we have two heads when we mention that we are Catholic and go to church. They really believe that it somehow lessens us as intellectuals to have faith and I find that kind of closed-mindedness very frustrating.

@CrankyMommy, I agree. I think one of the truest signs of maturity is being able to admit that you were wrong and accept another person's point of view. It is a sign of weakness, I think, to cling wretchedly onto your perspective just for the sake of not changing your mind or admitting you were wrong.

@annie, I think of myself as a left-leaning moderate, but I know there are lots of my kindred spirits who will hold onto a belief when there's nothing left to it just because they can't imagine agreeing with the other side. It's really ridiculous how low we have sunk in this country.