I’ve noticed something over the course of the past few days…you can’t change anyone’s mind.
You can present facts, and point out flaws in arguments, and you can yell and scream and stomp…but in today’s political climate lines in the sand have been drawn and heels are firmly dug in and not moving.
After 24 hours of using several different approaches to talk to Tea Party types, there really is no hope. They really, truly, believe I am a Communist ugly feminist man hater and I truly believe they are uninformed, racist, fear-mongers. They think I’m unAmerican and not a patriot, I think they are sowing the seeds of violence and ignorance.
And that is just how it is.
So now that I have resigned myself to this sadness, where do we go from here? November is coming and it’s getting nasty. It is going to get much worse before it gets any better. Tensions are running high, each side wants to win.
I’m worried we don’t survive this as a country. This is unlike anything I have ever seen. Passions are so high and people are so convinced THEY are right, I fear what they will do. Currently the Tea Party rhetoric says ‘Take Back Our Country” … and I keep asking, from whom? Other Americans?
We need to find a way to stop the screaming and fear. We need to find a way to work together before people get hurt, because they are getting hurt already. Both sides have documented violence. Both sides need to loudly condemn that violence.
Or we can continue to call names and point fingers. I mean, this is the route even I went down after becoming so very frustrated with the discourse my head exploded. But it gets us nowhere and does no good. And if only one side makes the effort to have civil discourse, and the other continues to just yell the loudest … who will Americans listen to? Do we risk losing because we took the high road?
I refuse to forgive or forget the nasty name calling and hate going on, but I also know we can’t keep going like this. This country is going to implode, and I worry for my kids and for my nation.
We need leaders and cooler heads to prevail right now, I’m not sure I’m one of them. I do think our President is one…but he needs to be louder. Are you one? Are you speaking calmly and rationally about the issues to your friends, family, and neighbors or are you spiraling down the rabbit hole many of us are…turning from talking points to shouts and name calling? What can YOU do to raise the level of conversation right now with those you oppose…not to change their minds, we know that won’t happen, but to at least keep the peace?
I’m not sure any of this is possible, we may be too far gone…but I feel we need to try.
And it starts with me.
I am pledging to be calmer, to try not to lose my temper, and to refrain from name calling.
Join me. And call me out if I lose it. And I have a feeling I may lose it more than I care to admit.
Will anyone from the other side join me? I am doubtful, for whatever their reasons may be. They might not think I am sincere, which is fine. So be it. But at least I floated it out there in the universe…for everyone’s sake. They might think I’m acting just like a typical liberal, being all huggy and lovey while there is a war being waged. The problem is we’re having that war with each other, fellow Americans. This is your country just as much as it’s my country. This is MY country too, although you don’t think I’m a real American.
But it doesn’t matter…if nothing else I will know I tried and I will know I did it for the right reasons…these two:
They will know I fought hard, but I fought fair. If it means we lose because I fought fair, that is the price I pay.
But I guess, in some ways, that means I win.