I have been making a serious mistake, and because of that mistake I am announcing a new direction for this site.
This morning I got up and turned on the radio. The stations to which I typically listen had been consumed with Trump this and that and Kavanaugh this and that. But that was all over, and I wanted to hear about the issues of the day, about the coming storms in Florida and the international warnings about global warming and about the coming elections and all.
What I heard instead was the rehashing of Trump and Kavanaugh. Trump’s a crook, blah, blah, blah. Kavanaugh’s a liar, blah, blah, blah. Then it dawned on me that the radio stations to which I, as a liberal, am routinely tuned were just saying what they thought I wanted to hear. And the same was likely true for the stations to which conservatives were tuned. These stations weren’t doing the news. They were selling a product.
Then a second thing dawned on me. I was doing the same thing. With the exception of one dear conservative friend of mine, my audience is generally liberal, and I have been telling them what they want to hear. I have been honest, and I hope I have been insightful, but I have also been selling a product. That is precisely what has gone wrong with political speech for the past several years. We haven’t been talking with each other. We haven’t been reasoning together. We haven’t been talking with each other. We’ve been caricaturing and ridiculing.
Democracy is not in danger because of Trump. It is in danger because of us. Democracy, government by, of and for the people, only works when the people participate. How? Well, by voting, for one. In that regard, it is relevant to my point that in the United States, particularly in mid-term elections, the turnout can be as low as thirty percent of the people. For another, though, we participate by talking things out. That is what we do, or should do, with our families and friends and neighbors. And that is precisely where the news stations are failing me, and it is where I am failing you.
So. We need to talk, and from now on this space is the place where we can talk. You will find below a button for comment. Press it. Comment. One rule only the rule on which this site was founded: reasoned discourse only. No yelling, no ridiculing. Let’s talk. Let’s invite others to differ, and let’s listen to what they have to say, and let’s think about it and talk some more.
I’ll start, on a very tough topic. Abortion. Is the implanted ovum a human? Of course it is. Can we kill humans? Yes, we do it all the time. We kill millions by allowing smoking and drinking and pollution and untested chemicals and many more. So the real question in abortion is: who should decide whether an abortion should be done? A judge? A legislator? A religious figure? Or the woman carrying that human? The Supreme Court says that, at least until that human is able to live on its own, the decision should be the mother’s.
What do you think? Talk to me.
2 thoughts on “TALK TO ME”
All life is sacred, I would agree to that, however the GOP view on abortion was never about life, but about control of others choices. If it ere about life they would have very different views on pollution, guns, unjust wars, environmental quality and so forth.
As the famous quote from Cardinal Berandin (sp) is the “consistent ethic of life met?”
Happy to see you discovered your own personal “echo chamber”, as wags call it. One critical piece to keep in mind is that media outlets, eg NPR, Fox, Russian social media bots, Voice of America, have only one goal and that is to sustain your attention. The nouns can be changed, but not the message. We are all susceptible because we crave information. But we also crave affirmation so we attend to “information” that reinforces our own (brilliantly enlightened) opinions, beliefs and interpretations. Absent vigorous conscious effort, we easily take the bait.
Re abortion, I think the argument resolves to this question: does an actual person have more rights than a potential person? It seems to me that most people choose the answer based on belief systems, which are immune to rational, fact-based discussion.
Personally, I believe in individual rights of self determination for and by the living. And I think the decision to terminate a pregnancy must be EXTREMELY difficult.