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.
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.