Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lunch and Learn

I recently ate lunch with two folks who are on the liberal side of the political persuasion. I am not. However, instead of engaging them in a heated debate about their beliefs, I listened to what they had to say. While being an exercise in restraint, this conversation gave me an unimpeded opportunity to hear the other side. They admitted to being liberals and I informed them of my conservative stance. All parties knew where the other person stood in general terms.

The first thing I noticed was their repeated attempts to belittle their opponents. Though they knew to whom they directed their comments, they had no restrain in using derogatory tones if not terms when referring to groups they opposed. Not that they made this personal. They never wagged a finger at me. Never made direct attacks. Yet, they pulled no punches in verbalizing their disdain for those they opposed. For the things I believed in. Several times I wondered why they would use such inflammatory words or tone while hating that very thing in their opponents.

Next, they would accuse the side they opposed of doing things their side did and was doing. They were blinded to the mis-actions of their leaders, but blew out of proportion every little wrong the other side did.

I could go on, but allow these two point to suffice. How can the US as a country survive when its citizens can't even have a decent discourse to iron out our differences?

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