This week I heard someone say this on the radio:
“This election isn’t going to unify America.”
Immediately I knew that I’d heard the truth.
Why is this so?
For all of my adult life, people have been divided about politics. Each side is dogmatic about what it holds dear. Arguments ensue when someone challenges someone else’s beliefs.
What we believe, we believe strongly.
About 25 years ago, I listened to talk radio for the first time. I didn’t do it because I was particularly interested in politics. It was an alternative to the music I’d heard a million times before and had grown weary of.
I listened to conservatives. I listened to liberals. I felt the emotional reactions the hosts wanted me to feel. It didn’t take long for me to discover that each side has its own theories about what will happen to the world if the enemy (the other side) has his way.
While I listened and thought about what the hosts were saying, I formed my own opinions about what was happening in the news. And no matter how the media tried to sway me, I defaulted to what I believed all along.
So it doesn’t make sense for me to argue with you about what you believe. You won’t change your mind based on my bullying tactics. And you won’t change my mind by making what I believe look stupid.
It takes love to have a really civil discourse. When we don’t wound each other and choose instead to talk and think, then maybe we’ll get somewhere. Until then, we’ll remained divided, only to be changed by something catastrophic or personally injurious. It’s only when your deepest beliefs let you down that you consider a change.
Happy voting, my friends.
And if you want to talk about politics with me, leave your weapons at home.