Monday, May 2, 2016

We Can't Talk to Each Other Anymore

We can’t talk to each other anymore. It’s sad. It seems like civil and productive dialogue are impossible in this socio-politically charged country, left alone friendship across most differences. Presidential candidates are becoming more uncompromising and growing further apart on the ideological scale.

Objectivity is gone. Debates aren’t won by scholarship and execution, but by marketable cliches, fallacious witticisms and passionate tenacity. It’s okay to use ad hominem and over-simplification on certain people and ideas, but not others. All the issues are quite simple, right? I’ve seen people supposedly debunk and solve millennia-long debates in a Facebook meme. After all, it’s the 21st century. We don’t talk to each other anymore.

Of course it would be easier if we all believed the same things. But the truth is that we’re roommates in a diverse country, a country founded, in part, on the notion that people that think differently could live securely together. But it takes some selflessness and grace. That’s hard when all people care about is victory and/or vengeance. We can’t talk to each other anymore.

The previous three candidates for President of this country (both parties) were considered moderate. Now people are wondering why the two most likely candidates for president are so polarizing. It’s because we can’t talk to each other anymore.

As you lobby, vote, and serve your country in various ways, I encourage you to be elitist about ideas and egalitarian about people. Be selfless and have compassion for your supposed enemies. Make it less about winning and more about reconciliation. Otherwise, we’ll become more divided, and we can’t talk to each other anymore.