One thing that has irritated me is the idea that it is "one way or the highway." On pretty much anything.
It's one thing to have your own view on things. I do politically, religiously, sports, etc. And it is understandable if you want to defend your beliefs. I do, and I respect others who do the same.
However, I believe very strongly that while I need to have my own point of view, my point of view is best for me alone. In addition, there is over 7 billion people in the world, over 300 million people in the USA. So it's not looking real good if I believe in personal autonomy to think that there is only a couple of options, when in reality, there are dozens of good ideas out there right now to help.
Why is there so much disagreement? Whether it's on this forum, or in our poliltics, it's not that people can't agree. It's that they won't agree.
It offends me to the hilt to have the fringe right politicians of today speak as if they are representing the majority. I get it that they may represent YOU. But to say that there is such a thing as "real Americans", that there is just one way to view current events and issues, or to say that those who disagree aren't real Americans, that is just plain bullshit.
The gridlock in our government today (the United States that is) results not from a lack of ideas, but from a desire to consolidate power.
Truthfully, if we are really all Americans, then we need leaders who want to unite. Instead, we don't have leaders. We have calculating politicians who read the current divides in our society today to see how they can exploit people's passions. Pragmatism, while needed more then ever, is hardly seen at all. And if you try to be pragmatic, then you are going to get run over pretty damn quick.
The answer to all of this is obvious: There is no one right answer. Politics that seek to exploit and marginalize minority communities (such as the nonsense issue over gay marriage) is designed to take advantage of prejudices. For the most part, I don't believe most college educated Republicans are prejudiced, nor personally give a damn whether gays and lesbians can have sex or get married. But instead of doing the right thing (leaving them alone) they whip up the passions of the ignorant.
Meanwhile, real issues are not dealt with responsibly. Today's politicians have totally miscalculated the winds of today. People are pissed off at all of them. I would say the resemble a kid throwing a tantrum in a sandbox, but I don't want to insult children.
The right has some great points. Smaller government in the sense of cutting spending is absolutely necesarry. DUH! There is a need to scale back and rethink entitlement programs (but not get rid of them) And of course, this is why gun rights and restricting the civil rights of gays and lesbians is so important... right?
The left is a little bit in la la land. As much as there are days that I wish we could be like some European socialist countries that insure health care and mandated month long vacations, the fact is that we won't ever be like that here. In addition, there are real social consequences to the remnants of the Great Society welfare system that are not addressed by current liberal policies. (I do think in 20 years that socialized health care is going to be viewed and appreciated a lot more than how it is viewed currently)
As a country, the United States still shows off that we are only a couple hundred years old. It's like we are going through puberty right now. It's stupid.
Maturity is in short supply right now. Honesty is in even less supply. The only answer is for both sides to finally "get it" that we are all in this together.
Sadly, the focus isn't on you and me, but on power and winning elections. And it is taking my country in the wrong direction. It isn't right or left, it's just plain wrong.