Something has been gnawing at me for a while now, more so in the past few days than ever before, and I want to see if it’s something you have noticed as well.
It seems to me that good, honest, debate has been shoved to the wayside as more and more people insert their ideological positions into any discussion and cement their “truth” with assertions that any dissent whatsoever is nothing more than an affront to the good of society.
These same people have no intention of debating the issues or participating in true political discourse to help solve our country’s problems. They simply want you to fall in line, obey the leaders of the party which holds the majority in our government, and shut your mouth.
If you choose to exercise your freedom of speech and voice your concerns about a particular piece of legislation you are accused of being nothing more than a right-wing hack.
If you choose to exercise your right to peaceful assembly and tell the government that you feel you have been taxed enough already, you are told you must be crazy.
If you choose to speak up and make your voice heard because you’re concerned with the direction the current administration is taking us, you are branded as a racist.
Things are getting completely out of hand.
During the Bush administration anti-war protests were held all the time. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told us at the time that it was patriotic to protest an American President.
Believe it or not, under most circumstances, she is right. Protesting and making your voice heard, in a republic, is one of the most important things you can do for your country. Well, it used to be anyway.
Now that Barack Obama sits in the Oval Office, Nancy Pelosi has changed her tune and now claims that those who protest the health reform bill are “un-American”.
That makes no sense at all, does it?
Debate is good. Debate is healthy. Good, honest debate helped shape the founding of our nation. Without healthy debate there can no longer be any honest discussion of current issues, and the chance to reach a productive end is null and void. How do we continue to shape our nation if there is no longer room for debate?
Like I said before, it’s getting real bad.
Back in August a man showed up at an Obama opposition rally carrying an AR-15 assault rifle. For several days MSNBC used this man as an example of the “racial undertones” of those oppositionseen at these rallies. From their report,
“Here you have a man of color in the presidency and white people showing up with guns strapped to their waists or to their legs.”
Take a look at the video.
Video coverage showed him from the shoulders down, from the back, and MSNBC used that situation in Arizona to demonstrate that there was a “disturbing trend” that racism would soon be on display at town hall meetings across the country. It turns out the man was black. There were no racist undertones, there was no disturbing trend, other than those which existed in the media.
The media itself has successfully turned any honest debate about health care ,or opposition to any of Barack Obama’s policies, into a not so subtle accusation of racism against those who protest. Even former President Jimmy Carter has jumped on the racism bandwagon by stating,
I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of a belief among many white people not just in the South but around the country … that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance and grieves me and concerns me very deeply.
I’m not even going to get into the debate about why Jimmy Carter chose this particular moment and this particular event to open his mouth, that’s a topic for an entirely different post. But I will say that Jimmy Carter has done more damage to the United States of America than any other President in U.S. History. Maybe one day we’ll debate that issue, that is, if debate is still alive by the time we get around to it.
What’s with all the deception in the media? Have you watched many of the news programs lately?
There is no discussion, there is no debate. On many networks you simply listen to a pundit and his or her “guests” discuss one side of an issue. Their side of the issue. You don’t have to watch any of those programs very long to notice the fact that debate does not exist anymore. Yelling is not a form of debate.
It’s not just the media either. Listen to the conversations around you. The disturbing trend to completely ignore “the other side” has expanded to company water coolers, coffee shops, Twitter, Facebook, and even the family dining room. In fact, some of the nastiest, personal attacks seem to be coming from those closest to you.
As you know I analyzed the health care bill, H.R. 3200, and then I pointed out the glaring contradictions of President Obama’s speech on health care to the Joint Session of Congress. During those series of posts I quoted the source document whether it was the bill or the speech, and I made my point(s) accordingly. I opened the floor for debate, hoping people would (at the very least) become educated about what is going on in their country.
I admit that I inject a lot of personal ideology into my posts, but it’s my blog, so that’s expected isn’t it? One thing I don’t do, however, is slam the door on honest, intelligent, civil debate. I studied the health care bill so I would be prepared for such debates. I criticized the President’s speech because he made so many glaring contradictions with the bill. I wanted people to have an honest, intelligent, civil debate, but what did I get in return?
Over the course of the past month I received sarcastic, snide comments, antagonistic replies, and then the most insulting diatribe I have received from anyone since I started writing about the health care bill. I learned quickly that the persons most likely to attack you and insult you, are family members.
I’m not going to quote the comment exchange because the actual words are no longer relevant. What matters to me is the fact that a family member thought it would be better to insult me, call me crazy, resort to second-grade name calling, and claim that my “complaining” didn’t matter because of the “democratic control” in Washington, rather than participate in a civil, honest, intelligent debate on the issue.
It just goes to show you that even those people who are highly educated sometimes lack the common courtesy and civility to communicate with family members, let alone society as a whole.
And therein lies the issue I wanted to discuss tonight.
What happened to the ability to debate? What happened to civil discourse? What happened to treating each other with respect while we discuss the issues important to us as individuals, as family members, and as a society?
Is it just me or have people lost the ability to truly debate the issues?
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”