On Political Dialogue

You might have heard that it’s an election year here in the United States of America.

Maybe. I mean, if you haven’t been around a single television or used the internet for any reason whatsoever, perhaps you haven’t. But the fact remains:

It’s time for we, the people, to [fix our overbearing government’s colossal mistakes / stop gutting our government’s ability to act on behalf of the citizens of our nation / finally address that one issue that is the only thing worth caring about].

As we work through the long slog of caucuses and primaries, as we watch adult humans stop just short of throwing excrement at one another intelligent debates between candidates who have strong differing visions of leadership combined with respectful disagreement with one another, I think we all need to consider how we should interact with our fellow Americans. And it’s pretty simple, really:

Anybody who plans to vote differently than you is both morally and intellectually bankrupt!

I mean, if they’re going to vote for a candidate who doesn’t understand [basic economics / modern social realities / the pressing need to address that one issue that is the only thing worth caring about], they deserve your contempt.

All of it.

Just pour it out.

Because there’s no way anybody might have a differing worldview from yours at which they’ve arrived after careful consideration and thought.

Because anybody who has taken the effort to think at all would see that your candidate is the only one who will stop [the bloated governmental bureaucracy from taking over any further / the forces of capitalist oligarchy from taking over any further / the continued disastrous effects pertaining to that one issue that is the only thing worth caring about].

Don’t bother taking time to understand nuance or differences in root political theory. Waste of time! Stick to reposting [pithy 40-character sound bites / snarky charts and graphics that pick and choose statistics that only support one side of any given argument / opinion pieces written mostly in capital letters] on your favorite form of social media that make it clear that you, unlike everybody who disagrees with you even a little bit, love and value [liberty and personal responsibility / compassion and communal endeavor / the right approach to that one issue that is the only thing worth caring about].

Under no circumstances should you pay any attention to relationships like those between, say, David Brooks and Mark Shields or Ruth B. Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia. No way. Absolutely not.

Because these efforts to find common ground, to firmly stake out the political outposts of philosophical core and then find a way to move forward together while fully acknowledging both our differences with one another and our own capacity to be wrong, would be downright un-American.

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