I'm happy to have deep political discussions with people who have divergent thoughts if they are willing to comport themselves like grown-ups and not toddlers that need a nap and a binky. If you can not have a civilized discourse, there is something wrong with you that most likely requires therapy. If you truly believe that you are right, then someone with a divergent opinion shouldn't make you angry. What does it matter what they think when it's glaringly evident that you are vastly superior and they are incredibly stupid? Right?
They should all just shut the hell up because you're the only one with something to say that's worth hearing.
So there. Nya, nya, nya.
I wonder though...why must we all think the exactly same thoughts?
Why must we all pray the same, love the same, laugh the same, live the same, talk the same, think the same, dress the same?
What kind of a world would it be if we actually were all the same?
I'll tell you what kind of a world it would be...a really fucking boring world.
Maybe the folks who are all so angry about how the rest of us are all trying to steal their pie and turn them into commies and tax them into submission and think it's their job to shout their opinions so loudly they drown out everyone else...should consider gathering up their constantly threatened resources and purchasing a large parcel of land. Then they could all live together in Boringia, where the boring, sanctimonious, self serving, unyeilding and abrasive folks live together in a constant state of self righteous indignation. Then they could all freely judge everyone in the rest of the world from a safe vantage point and they could freely screw each other over in the endless pursuit of more wealth and power. They could read boring books and watch propaganda that passes for news and remove all traces of the arts from the schools so that eventually they stop having new books, new music, new art, new magazines, new crap they can buy to wear and decorate their McMansions and all of the other things that those pesky artists create to keep life interesting. Who wants interesting when you can be boring? They could have national prayer meetings each morning where they openly judge and freely hate anyone who doesn't pray to their God or live their lives exactly as they did.
I'm not saying we all need to be liberals either, I'm saying we all need to be willing to make room for a variety of viewpoints and lifestyles and agendas. It's part of the deal of living in a Democracy. If your team lost the last game, then instead of shouting about it, do everything you can to make sure they win the next one.
I can't believe that an elected Senator shouted "You lie!" at our president last night. Seriously. Grow up. Firstly, our President wasn't lying. There is no provision for health care for illegal immigrants, but I personally think there should be one that forces the people who hire them to pay their medical bills and the rest of the bills they incur while living here illegally because many of the same people who rant endlessly about illegal immigrants have no problem hiring them to mow their lawns or watch their kids or clean their houses. Ahem. But I digress, you don't have to agree with the President, but you do have to comport yourself with the dignity that is expected of an elected official.
What a dink.
I'm not actually sold on this current health care initiative, mostly because I think we'd be better off with socialized medicine. Yup, I said the "s" word. I'd frankly rather see my tax dollars go to helping sick people get better than to billions of dollars in blank checks handed out by the former administration to bloated financial institutions who filled out a two page form with a few questions and then took OUR money and ran after devastating our economy. Where was my form to fill out so that I could continue being the entrepreneur and small business owner trying to pay the mortgage in this mess that they left behind? I'd also like to stop paying for a war based on a real lie told by our former President who definitely lied...over and over and over again.
I have had extended discussions with people from countries with socialized medicine and guess what...they love it. They all say it's amazing to go see a doctor when you're sick and get the medicine and quality treatment that you need without having to jump through endless hoops to get approval and referrals. Wow, that sounds really horrid, doesn't it?
I've also known what it is to have to decide between buying food or a visit to the doctor or a medicine that I need. I've known what it is like to not be insured and to pray every day that I stayed healthy. I have a chronic medical condition and I am lucky to have insurance, because if we didn't I would not be able to afford my medicines and my treatment. I think most of the people screaming like banshees in these Town Hall Meetings are one catastrophic event or one funky mole away from total financial ruin. Only until it happens to them or a family member or a friend, they won't know what it's like to lose everything merely because you had the audacity to get sick or injured or what it's like to watch someone you love die because their insurance company dropped them or refused to pay for treatment.
We need to all lighten up, breathe deeply, stop drinking the Fox News Kool-Aid and educate ourselves. We need to learn the fine art of diplomacy and compromise. We don't have to agree, but we need to disagree graciously. We need to accept that a democracy requires us to discuss, debate and determine the best course of action for the majority. It's not simple and it's not always fun, but it's part of the deal.
I love these quotes from this NYT Op-Ed article my friend Homer shared with me from a letter written by Eisenhower to a concerned citizen. I think it's a very, very smart letter:
“I doubt that citizens like yourself could ever, under our democratic system, be provided with the universal degree of certainty, the confidence in their understanding of our problems, and the clear guidance from higher authority that you believe needed. Such unity is not only logical but indeed indispensable in a successful military organization, but in a democracy debate is the breath of life.”
Referring to a favorite book written by Eric Hoffer Ike said that Hoffer:
“points out that dictatorial systems make one contribution to their people which leads them to tend to support such systems — freedom from the necessity of informing themselves and making up their own minds concerning these tremendous complex and difficult questions.”
Educating yourself is not only your right...it's your duty. We will never all think the same thoughts, but I do believe we all want the same things. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Therefore we all need to become more a lot more informed and constructively involved and a lot less angry or at the very least know what the hell we are screaming about.