I am once again asking you to not look down. pic.twitter.com/TUFDu68iuk
— Elephant “Democracy Matters” Journal (@elephantjournal) January 21, 2021
Now, we have a new president.
A new administration, a new era possibly is upon us. In the way of politics, as everything changes, it creates a fresh start but also brings the seeds of its own demise—its own countercurrent.
I mean, imagine if there was just one political party. Wait. I can’t even imagine that.
So, I’m not too excited about the changing of the guard; it has been changing, and it will continue to change. What’s more important is how we do our politics.
The “American people,” as the politicians like to frame it when they’re about to espouse their own agenda and link it to the public mind, are the source of our democracy. The people are you and I and everybody.
How we talk to each other and form consensus is the real heart and soul of our democracy.
For the past two decades, at least, there has been a concerted effort to divide people based on one issue or another. The hot button, emotional issues are the most effective: abortion, immigration, crime. It’s almost like the more we “debate” these issues, the farther away we are from the solutions.
In fact, the issues themselves are not the issue, it’s the leverage that they provide to pry people away from their commonality. When there is an us and a them, people can be exploited and persuaded. Fear of the other is a tried and true method of motivating people.
How did it become a sport to malign everyone who doesn’t agree with you?
Where did two decades of abusive, abrasive, divisive talk radio come from?
The American people need look no further to discover the reason for our dysfunctional government; when the bar is lowered to the level where disparagement and ridicule and alternative truths are acceptable and are the most effective political tools of all—everyone is going to suffer.
How can we engage in dialogue with our “fellow Americans,” as the politicians like to put it?
One thing is for sure, if we leave it up to the politicians, it’s game over. Politicians create the problems and then want us to elect them so they can fix them. “We the People” need to come online and speak up; maybe we could start by talking to each other.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to people you don’t agree with, then practice self-reflection and gain some self-knowledge. You’ll gain more confidence to talk to people that way. Confidence comes from knowing who you are and what your abilities are.
In Mexico, people will scan your eyes and stop to talk to you on the street if you look friendly. It’s the strangest thing. It’s as if friendly, spontaneous conversation was the unofficial national pastime.
In America, we don’t take a chance. That stranger might be a serial killer, who knows? So we play it straight.
But, we do need to learn how to talk to each other, or kiss this sweet deal goodbye.
Our republic won’t survive if it’s divided. That’s pretty clear, noncontroversial; I think we all can agree on that.
Can we just take a moment and agree on one thing?