Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 28: Air a grievance

Perhaps you're alarmed about the state of our nation, the lack of educated and intelligent media coverage, or maybe you can't find a grocery store with ripe avocados. Air a grievance, any grievance.

I've been discouraged all day - if it were true that your face freezes when you keep the same unnatural expression for too long, my brows would be forever furrowed into a look of abject despair and exhaustion.

This excellent NYT editorial details what the budget impasse is really about - abortion, healthcare and environmental protection. I think that's pretty true, but it's also about children who never learned to share their sandbox toys, who were inexplicably selected to run our country. It's about a broken two-party system that has removed all sense of logic from politics. It's about a media system so focused on incendiary rhetoric that it has personally elevated a man previously known for his combover to presidential candidate status... while simultaneously turning us into creatures who feel we can understand complex political and sociological issues via 30-second soundbites.

Meanwhile, most of us are truly on the same side here, right? Before you hit comment and say NO, stop and think a minute. Have you ever used birth control? Have you ever seen smog and worried that the planet you're leaving your children is not the same one into which you were born? Have you looked at Trump and thought, "Whack job"?

We're on the same team, people. It's just better for business to convince us that the issues are black and white, that being Christian and socially liberal are mutually exclusive, that you can't support global warming and wish for lower taxes. Rational thinking is no longer rewarded, and so the small differences we have, philosophically, with one another, are positioned as impassable schisms that will forever divide us.

It doesn't have to be like this. I can't believe that a country built on the intelligence and innovation of a group of rational thinkers in an irrational time can't now find a way to put a swift end to the outrageous smoke and mirrors show that our governmental system has become.

How do we fix it? I think it starts with intelligent discourse - find someone you disagree with, and don't leave until you've found some kind of common ground. Don't rely on the talking points you're hearing, but rather rethink what you know and why it is important to you. Try to leave with a better understanding of where they come from, what has affected their opinions and why that is important.

How we fix it, I think, is to treat one other like human beings instead of enemies. And then, to demand that our elected officials do the same.


Sara said...

Thank you, for being one of the few who can shed some light on this topic.

Sarah said...

Excellent, excellent post! I'm a lurker on your blog (found you through SavvyMom) but I think you completely hit the nail on the head here. Kudos!

Gina Marie said...

Thanks so much Sara/h! I was worried I couldn't put what I was feeling into the right words, but assumed I couldn't do any worse than some of the talking heads...

Jamie said...

I'm so f****ing happy this didn't happen and that we didn't get thrown under the bus. I don't know. As angry as I am, I actually think they reached a compromise that both sides should be happy with.

Don't think it should have taken until 11:45 the night before though. Also I kind want back all those wasted hours I lost with M :(