Talk Politics to Me, Please.

I’ve tried to avoid online political discussion for several years because of a hideously painful conflict with a beloved member of my family. As of today, I am taking a different stance, at least for now. We need to set aside the old admonition against discussing politics and step outside the bubbles so many of us have created with Facebook feeds, social circles, news media choices, and other instruments. I love my own East Coast granola-head leftie bubble, but I love the civil exchange of ideas even more. We need to stop lecturing each other and start listening.

I'm All Ears
                   I’m All Ears

Since I have the megaphone at the moment, I’ll go first.

I voted for Clinton and volunteered for her campaign because I see her as highly qualified for the presidency and Trump as dangerously unqualified and temperamentally unfit. I disagree with Clinton on several points, and I am aware that Trump has supporters who are not bigots. Here are some of my deeply held political beliefs:

  • We should do what we can to open opportunities for people who got the short end of the stick. We can’t guarantee everyone’s success or erase disastrous personal choices, but we can try to give everyone an even break.
  • Corporations deserve reasonable profits, but they should not be permitted to make the world unlivable or destroy lives and communities in pursuit of them.
  • Police departments exist to reduce crime and violence, not to respond with violence to peaceful demonstrations or petty crimes, and they should not be equipped and outfitted like occupying armies. As long as they are protecting us — all of us — they deserve our gratitude and tremendous respect.
  • Church (or mosque or temple) and state should remain separate, just as the Constitution says. I don’t subscribe to any religion or any kind of commercial spirituality, but people who do should be free to practice theirs without interference, provided they can do so without committing felonies or imposing their own rules for living on me.
  • We should welcome newcomers, especially those who come here to escape terror, persecution, or grinding poverty and who work hard to give themselves and their children better lives. They are the kind of people who, having taken this land of ours from its first inhabitants, built something remarkable, flawed though it may be. They continue to enrich it.

Okay, now it’s your turn to state your own views in comments. I’ll read them and give them serious thought without contradicting them. I hope other readers will do the same.

2 Responses

  1. Cheryl Morrison
    | Reply

    The following is email from my brother Dave. I add it here with his permission and the hope that others will be similarly forthcoming.

    Listening to one another verses lecturing is a premise I can support without hesitation. I am glad you gave a platform to enable folks to do just that. Not being sure as to how many words I was limited to, I decided to use MS Word instead, mainly because I don’t know how to reduce my views to less than a Readers Digest version.
    Before expressing my personal views, I am reminded of something dad used to tell me often. He used to say, “At my age, it’s not going to affect me much one way or the other.” Never in a thousand years did I ever think that I would quote dad, but strangely enough, his words now ring true to me. I find little purpose in being involved with political activism at my age. My primary concern at this point in my life is solely based on people foolishly turning against one another, even friends and family members. If this trend continues, it represents a far greater threat than who wins or loses any given election cycle.
    As for me personally, I was a late bloomer in growing up. My head was buried so deeply into my own butt that I didn’t bother to vote for the first time until Jimmy Carter ran for office and I enthusiastically gave him my support. Obviously, that didn’t work out so well. Because of this and without benefit of the internet, I did what I could to learn about our political system and historical patterns.
    Still believing that the democrat party represented my views and interests, I voted for Bill Clinton for both terms in office. While the economy was thriving and a lot of it had to do with the bubble, the endless scandals in office and going clear back to Arkansas, placed a lot of doubt in my mind, let alone his sexual predatory nature. Hillary’s deflection to the “vast right-wing conspiracy” told me all I needed to know about her at the time…on top of her other scandals. Call me silly, but I expect far more from any presidential family of any political party.
    Then in 2000, being disgusted with the democrat party, I stupidly gave my vote to George Bush. By the end of his first term in office, I saw very clearly his divided and conquer strategy. By then I also came to know that entering Iraq was a monumental mistake. Obviously, he won a second term and he continued to divide this country.
    Obama came to power and for eight years he continued to divide the country by using the race card every chance he got. All the gains made in race relations over the past fifty years faded with every year he was in office even though white votes put him there in the first place. If you didn’t agree with one or more of his policies, you were quickly labeled a racist.
    Over the past eight years It appeared as though every alphabet agency became totally politized. I never saw so many key people pleading the fifth amendment during congressional hearings on a variety of issues being investigated. Equally, I have never seen the level of corruption as I had witnessed over the past eight years. For me, indeed it was time to “drain the swamp” (both parties) if that is even possible.
    While I am still scratching my head as to how my choice came down to Trump or Hillary, I had countless variables to consider before making up my mind. It would take several pages to list the factors that I had to consider. I was and remain disgusted that either Trump or Clinton made it to the final cut.
    With the greatest of reservation, I voted for Trump. The establishment (both parties) were totally against him and I saw that as a plus. Wall Street was against him and he for the most part self-funded his campaign verses Clinton taking large contributions from them. Being twenty trillion dollars in debt, Clinton was promising free tuition and other similar things to people, and we just can’t afford to do that right now. Even if we could afford it and people took advantage of it, there are unintended consequences to consider. With the good jobs leaving this country in unthinkable numbers thanks to the globalists control, four-year degrees will soon become the new GED. In my opinion, we need to reconsider this entire issue and chart a different course. Perhaps that does involve renegotiating the many trade deals that were made.
    Immigration: I fully understand and appreciate that our country is a nation of immigrants and as such, I very much believe in immigration. On the other hand, I believe in controlled and legal immigration based on the needs of this county verses open borders. The basic structuring of the globalist intent was to take our good jobs off shore, open the southern border and allow cheap labor to come in and compete for the lower paying jobs that remained, thereby bringing down wages as a whole…systematically eliminating or at least greatly reducing the middle-class.
    Muslim immigration and refugees: When looking at the current situation all across Europe, Sweden as well as other countries, the lesson that sticks out to me is, proceed but with great caution. I just read somewhere that Munich Germany is forced to protect its citizens by building a wall separating them from radical jihadist. We live in a very complicated world these days, nothing like anything we have experienced or even imagined before.
    Anyway, as I already mentioned, I could go on for several pages ranting about my concerns. Mr. Trump was the only one who addressed these issues to my satisfaction, so I reluctantly gave him my support based on these and many other issues. As for the awful things that came out of his mouth during the primary and beyond for that matter, I am no different than anyone on the left…I am disgusted.
    As for my political posture, I have few who appreciate me views from the left or from the right. As I mentioned before, I am only slightly right of center on the political scale. On social issues, for the most part, I lean left. On fiscal issues, I usually lean more to the right. On all issues however, I appreciate hearing all views before arriving at my own. Centrists these days are treated like a red-headed step child by both political parties.

  2. Barbara Langworthy
    | Reply

    I agree with everything you wrote (beautifully, I might add). A few of my friends voted for T b/c they’re longtime Republicans, listen to the Fox News, and bought into the “crooked Hillary” line

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