Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tired of Political Bi-Polarity

I am disgusted by American politics today. (I probably don’t like any politics – but I am not a historian or an international scholar, so I’ll stick to what I see here on TV and online.)

The blind bi-polarity of our two major parties gets in the way of really constructive discussion, and decisions that actually meet the needs of a majority of the taxed and voting population. Issues are portrayed as black or white, right or wrong, intelligent or stupid, well-intentioned or mean-spirited. How did we become so aggressively divided? It feels like a Civil War.

It’s the rare politician that works effectively with others from the opposite side of the aisle. Shouldn’t that scenario be the norm? Politics shouldn’t be about scoring points, zingy sound bites, and “winning”. They should be about caring public servants working together with the best of intentions to make our country better.

I am not holier than thou. I am passionate about issues, and sometimes get frustrated when other people see things differently. But if there’s one thing I learned from a career in business – that’s when you do your homework so you’re sure you know what you’re talking about, bite your tongue to hush hard words so you don’t ruin relationships, negotiate a middle ground, make a decision for the greater good, and move ahead. Anything else is akin to being stuck in a car in a busy intersection with everyone honking their horns, getting a headache, and going nowhere.

It makes me heartsick to see political attacks ads. I would prefer for a candidate to tell me why they should be elected; not why the other person shouldn’t. Get your digs in (if you must) during a debate, when the opportunity presents itself – in a controlled, factual way.

On Facebook, I sigh when I see people “Like” mean-spirited pages related to politics. Truly, I don’t care whether you Like Sarah Palin or would “Rather Have a Root Canal Procedure” than hear her speak. (And by the way, do you have any idea to whom you have provided your personal Facebook information by Liking that page?) If can’t stand her, turn off the TV when she comes on. When/if she runs for office – don’t vote for her.

I feel a little like the woman who spoke so eloquently at Obama’s recent Town Hall – EXHAUSTED. All the nastiness and bi-polarity are getting in the way of progress for our nation. Let’s try to understand each other’s perspectives and support decisions that are in the best interest of our country and our people. Get involved in civilized conversations without sarcasm about opposing views. Be active in causes about which you care. Get out to vote. And tell your representatives how you expect them to behave.

Now let’s all sing Kumbaya.

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