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Stance toward Politics

Nothing good ever came from two people shouting at one another over irreconcilable opinions. The exchange quickly deteriorates as animosities grow. Neither side learns anything from the other. Accusations become more contrived, even insulting. After a while, the combatants look idiotic as petulant name-calling and threats make a mockery of them both. Whatever points they originally tried to make have been distorted beyond recognition.
     This same dynamic, in the name of patriotism no less, now defines and completely stymies American politics. On behalf of partisan wrangling (a contest that the majority of Americans do not support), the important responsibilities of government are being neglected, leaving the future of the nation in constant jeopardy.
     This trend will not reverse itself on its own. Unopposed by sane discourse, it will only get worse. Those involved are too rigidly invested in destroying the civility and respect for truth that a functional democracy requires. The majority of citizens, well-intentioned but discouraged beyond hope, have withdrawn from the artificial fray, leaving dangerous extremists in control.
     Insanity is sometimes defined as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. This is where we find political strategies today, pushing the same old adages that lead nowhere – all the while furthering division and urging followers to fight on. This quagmire of dysfunction is so deeply engrained that it cannot be repaired by small adjustments of political reform. We need a new alternative.
     No outside enemy is as dangerous as a runaway contagion that destroys us from within. The only antidote is for people of reason and good will to step forward and bring the nation back on course.
We can start by separating ourselves from this hotbed of partisanship, and by no longer adding fuel to animosities that are out of control. This may be difficult at first. Well-meaning partisans think that they are fighting the good fight, while they only make the situation worse. We need a wiser course of action, a completely different path, shook free of ready-made agendas, taglines and wedge issues. (While many of these issues deserve attention, they have been so politically exploited that they cannot be properly attended to until a healthier process of discourse arises.)
     By stepping back, clearing our minds and rejecting the distortions of past entanglements, we can free ourselves from the oppressive art of political wrangling. We will see the issues from a new perspective that may lead to better solutions. When our thoughts are no longer dictated by anger and attacking others, we will truly be able to think for ourselves.
     Once we extricate ourselves from the downward spiral of heated argument and insult, we will express our views with a political detachment that others will respect and value. Only then will we truly make a difference.


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