Throughout the last three years I've tried to
stay away. To do anything but fall into the
deep divide that is literally splitting America
in two. To avoid being engulfed in a tsunami
where nobody wins and we all lose. Hence
I've poured my heart out via this blog. Have
attempted to be rational while I clarify our
differences in opinion. Challenging friends
and neighbor's rancor. I've tried to protect
this democracy against lies, rumors, and
radical bias that is rarely based on truth but
fiction. And in-between cautiously sparred
with folks who I have "liked" on Facebook.
Over and out
Then I lost it. Saturday I went where I swore
I'd never go. Behaving in a way that frankly
I find regrettable at best. In anger I lashed
out. Challenging what I view as foolishness.
And suddenly I was doing exactly what they
other side wanted me to do. Giving them just
what they wanted. A rabid, angry, and hostile
"liberal." When in truth, I was simply trying
to make my point against all odds. Against
poisonous rhetoric that has little to do with
the facts. Poison fueled by extremes. Which
creates a radical schism that leaves all of us
suspended somewhere in the middle.
On Sunday the Washington Post reported on
just this. It was about two neighbors who live
in a small town in Nebraska. And of how two
diverse positions on recent events prohibit
either from hearing the other's perspective.
To give them both credit - they tried. They
met over a pot of coffee. Yet neither was able
to embrace, accept, or condone the other's
"radical" views. Thus like most of America
we're split over "he said" - "she said" or in
this case "she said" -" she said." So how
did we get into this state of affairs? And
more important - somewhere in between?
In my humble opinion that happy place is truth.
Not rhetoric. Nor carefully tainted perspective.
Nor conspiracy theories. And most important
never via repeated references. Instead we must
all face facts. Which sadly in our current state
of affairs requires the ability to sift through the
purposeful subterfuge that a variety of people
throw in our way. I'll be honest - I do my best
to separate fact from fiction. Which is why
I rarely read newspaper opinion columns or
editorials. Nor listen to anchor commentary.
Rather I continue to attempt to base our ever
shifting dialogue on solid facts i.e. TRUTH.
To each OUR own
Much like many a biblical scholar - anybody
can manipulate data to their advantage. Thus
we all must reach our own conclusion. Please
note what I said "OUR OWN." My opinions
on Mr. Trump are based on a long history of
facts. Of personally experiencing, knowing,
and seeing his behavior and actions on a local
front. Long before he became the leader of this
country. While most definitely skewed, they're
based in truth. And yes... that VERY concrete
perspective has influenced my opinion of his
candidacy and presidency since. A position
that nobody "owns" but ME, myself, and I.
Equal but different?
What I continue to struggle with are those who
passionately espouse the opinions of others. All
while fervently embracing said opines as theirs.
Spouting "data" that is flawed at best - warped
at worst. Against such emotion - it's virtually
impossible to argue one's case. Hence our great
divide. Our collective rift. Our national schism.
My question is where do we go from here? Do
we each just take sides? Should we drown in an
acrimonious pit of divisive dissension? Or can
we find someway to build a bridge together that
ultimately brings us together? Or will we grow
farther apart post the results on November 6th?