Wednesday, November 3, 2010

...Parties

No, I'm not talking about dressing up and wearing heels and seeing your friends. I'm talking about political parties. Before you click the "X" button to close this window hear me out. *

It doesn't matter if you're republican or democrat or independent or green or whatever the hell the new party is.

Throw another cigarette on the ground. Scream at your child once more. Slam the door in someone else's face. Call someone who is different than you another hurtful name. Spit on the sidewalk one more time. Ignore the old woman crossing the street in the rain. Walk right past someone who's dropped something.

Whatever happened to civility in America? Politeness? Manners? Acceptance? Tolerance? Why do people fight hate with hate, and why does that translate into politics?
You were bullied as a child and now as an adult you have to bully others and be proud of it? You were hurt once and now you mend your pain by hurting someone else? Give me a break!

You all know I'm "liberal." I put it in quotations because the thought of labeling myself and associating myself with any sort of political party today makes me sick. So much back and forth, "I'm better than you" or "I'm right and you're wrong" or "I hate this group of people because they are different than me and that hate is ok because my political party tells me so."

Enough! Whatever happened to respect?

Take a step back and think before you speak. I need to take that advice as much as the next guy. Think for yourself. Political parties aren't about hatred. Let's all have some respect for one another and (in a perfect world) realize this as a country.


*If I offend anyone in this blog post, leave a comment and tell me why.

3 comments:

  1. Hey Lauren,
    Your words reflect exactly what Jon Stewart said at the Rally to Restore Sanity in DC last weekend. I played the clip on my latest podcast.

    I'm a nice guy and I accept most people for who they are, unless they really weird me out. . But unfortunately the other side is constantly bashing progressives and have turned the word "Liberal" into a bad word in most circles.

    Now the question is how do we remain true to our values by being accepting to all ideas and listening when we are constantly being bashed by the right for that very nature of being a progressive?

    How do we continue what it means to be a progressive without lowering ourselves to the status to where we end up jabbing with the right and loosing focus on our values?

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  2. I hear what you (and Jon Stewart and others) are saying, but the problem I have with it is the false equivalence in suggesting that the rhetoric of the left and the right are equally bad. Yes, I know that there are people on the left end of the spectrum who are as intemperate in their rhetoric as is the right, but it's far less common and far less vitriolic overall.

    So, when Jon tells "both sides" to tone down the rhetoric, he's actually talking to the wrong people: Folks like you who already agree with him and mainstream liberals who, being good liberals, will take criticism to heart.

    The people this message WON'T reach are the ones who most desperately need it: Folks on the right. When we talk about excess volume and inflammatory rhetoric, that's the source of the overwhelming majority of it.

    And as for the relative minority of excessive rhetoric that comes from my end of the spectrum, I can only speak of my own responsibility, because I can't control what other liberals say. Still, if I knew of something egregious I'd denounce it—just as I ask the right to do when they see extreme rhetoric on their side.

    Personally, I reserve my strongest words for the people who are a clear and present danger to me, not all conservatives. I don't use inflammatory words like "fascist" loosely, and I try to always be factually accurate in what I say.

    I pull my punches far more often than not, I try and keep my purple prose to a minimum—I'm already doing my part. Get the other side to back off and tone it down and I'll look to see if I can go farther. Right now, though, given the provocation I face every single day, I'm about as restrained, civil and respectful as I can possibly be.

    Having said all that, I appreciate you speaking up about such things and having your say. It's extremely useful.

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  3. You're right, there is no more old fashioned manners, politeness, caring about your fellow 'man' anymore. And I do resent when this tied to political parties, being 'libral' or 'conservative'. This has to do with being human and caring as much about the next guy as you do about yourself.

    I don't have a political party. I don't cote for sone one because of their color or religion or the party they are affiliated with. I vote for someone because of their track record, ideas for the future and how I hope they will improve what's important to me: schools, seniors issues, environment. Problem is, main stream media won't let me find out what those ideas are. All I get is mud slinging campaign ads and different stations reporting what they WANT me to hear.

    So my question is this...where does an average person, without hours to study this, turn for accurate information? There are hotlines and web sites to help me with my taxes, my medical and insurance questions, my credit scores...even how to cook a turkey!! But when it comes to something as important as voting for someone to lead our country into the future, all we get is nonsense and lies!!

    One more thought...make your little corner of the world a better place today...practice a random act of kindness to someone...just because it's a nice thing to do!!

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