Sunday, January 09, 2011

What Happens If I Disagree?

The shootings in Arizona have left me, and a lot of other people, speechless.  A gunman, at this point lone, is pissed at the world and opens up at the politicians he thinks is responsible?  How is a nine-year old little girl responsible for the issues of today?  Shooting other people while going after your ex-spouse is rehensible.  Shooting a cop, while high on meth, to avoid jail time, is disgusting.  But at least we can say there was some reason.  But explain to me how a little girl is in anyway responsible for your political issues?  Not to mention all the other innocent people caught up in a gunman's rampage.
ABC broadcasted an interview with Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri-D,and he said that the toxic discussions coming out of DC were being exported to the rest of the nation (I am paraphrasing-not quoting directly).  If truer words were never spoken.  Politics has turned into a simple war of right and wrong.  I am right, therefore you are wrong.  It all boils down to that, and it has turned deadly.  Last November, after the elections, most of the non-elected officials, regardless of party, conceded defeat, wished the best to the elected, and promised to get their group back in office.  Huh?  How about-great win, let's see what we can do for the people.  The last 5 presidential races, the latest being no different, concluded with the losing party promising to get folks the help they need, in four years when they re-take the office.  And even some elected officials have publicly stated that they will do their best to disrupt the system, until they get what they want.  Some politicans have a list of OTHER politicians who are wrong, that way there is no guessing.  How is that helpful?
It doesn't take long to see why we are a nation at war with ourselves.  Compromise has become nothing but a dirty word, and "us VS them" is the stance on every issue-from our favorite footbball team down to how we deal with health care.  Even how to celibrate holidays can turn into World War III.
Aaron, of my college days fame, once said, "agree to disagree".  I know he was not the first to say it, but his version was the first I heard, and it sums up everything to me.  I am proud to know that some of my closets friends dress different than me, picked their spouse in different ways than me, and gasp! voted opposite of me.  And more power to them for it.  I hope they continue to do that, because that individuality is what makes them a great friend. 
Instead of fighting to make sure we are the same politicaly, or even demographicaly , I want to see more fighting for people being the same socially.  I know I am not alone in that I pick my friends by how kind someone is -how they treat their fellow human beings, animals, and family members.  How about arguments for hanging out with people who don't use violence to express themselves, and refuse to pick their nose in public ( I couldn't resist-that habit grosses me out.)  Like different movies, vote for the conservative, give clothes to the needy and food to the poor and I like you anyway.  Go to church, don't go to church, but agree that all children, regardless of color, need hugs.  Can we find common ground?  Take mass transit, drive your gas-guzzling hummer, burn a bra-just respect the fact I like the Grand Canyon as a vacation spot.  There are a hundred different ways we can disagree, as long as we can find common ground in human decency.  Can we fight for that, instead of which ideas deserve the most public ridicule?
The shootings in Arizona were the fault of one man, and one man only.  I don't blame anything else.  But it doesn't hurt to hope for change either. The Civil War offially lasted four years, 1861-1865.  But the issue of slavery tore families apart of for decades, before AND after the war.  If our nation can survive that, we can survive this current war of ugly words and feelings.  It would just be nice if we could do it before more nine-year old children, who can't even vote and are in NO WAY responsible for this political quagmire, are shot down and killed.