Monday, August 27, 2012

Get to know The Others

With the Republican National Convention taking place in Tampa this week, the political season is now officially up and running.

Oh, hurray.

I don't know about you, but I've become pretty disillusioned with the political process, due in large part to what I perceive as a near-complete lack of civility and tolerance for opposing viewpoints and the people behind them. I don't believe one side is nastier about it than the other, but it doesn't matter. All of that is nothing but empty-headed vitriol and ultimately, it's totally counterproductive. How can anything get done when all you're doing is yelling about how much the opposition sucks? Hate to break it to you but even if you win ALL the elections, the other guys are not being sent into space. The reality of the situation is that you (we) still have to live next door to each other, shop for groceries in the same stores and attempt to raise kids that are at least slightly less screwed up than we are, among other things.
With that in mind, I went on Twitter and asked for people who describe themselves as "staunch" liberals and conservatives to submit to a short list of questions for interviews that will be published this week. I wanted one of each and I simply selected the first of each to reply. I happened to get a third person, someone who says that they were conservative but are now liberal, so that's a little bonus. There's absolutely no science involved, with no consideration paid to demographics or anything like that. It's completely arbitrary, like stopping the very first person you come across on the street and asking them what is on their mind. What's the point? I don't know that there is one. I certainly don't expect to change anyone's minds or philisophical ideals. I wouldn't even want to do that. If I were to dream really big, I would hope that a couple of people would read these and go forward thinking of those with differing opinions as human beings with their own valid reasons for believing the way they do. Because even if someone has a basic philisophical viewpoint with which we can't possibly relate, we should understand that we still have more in common than not. Then there's a possibility that we can at least work together and try to figure some of this shit out for the mutual benefit of as many people as possible. That would be good enough, I think. I don't have delusions about saving humanity, but I would like to restore enough faith in it for me to feel good about participating in the political process again. If someone else feels the same and gets the benefit of that as well, that's good too. Maybe none of that will happen, though. Maybe your worst fears about The Others will be confirmed. Maybe you'll even develop new ones. Jeez, I hope not. I can't control any of that though. All I can do is ask questions, from one individual human being person to another and then present them here. What people take away from that (if anything) is out of my hands. We'll see what happens.
Anyway, the interviews will run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.

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