Tomorrow is the first debate for President between Mitt Romney and Barak Obama. I'll be tuned in. And I thought that tonight would be fitting to write in preparation for tomorrow.
While I'm being a truth-teller, I'll disclose that I'm a registered Democrat. I know in writing this, I'm being judged by everyone's perception of what a "Democrat" is to them in their mind. When you tell someone you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent, certain judgements are automatically made about you. Something about this is slightly unfortunate. So I'll also share (for, I guess, maybe, a bit of credibility) that I've voted for Republicans.
For a little more credibility, here is the breakdown in our household:
- Me - registered Democrat
- Michelle - registered Independent
- Charlie - (he tells me he is a strict Republican, always has been)
Here's another one:
Everyone is talking about budgets, endless spending, debt, and deficits. I think we need to be fiscally responsible. We need to take care of our fiscal crisis. We need to do it without talking about "class warfare". War is war. Soldiers serve and sacrifice. And people die. Let's drop the class warfare rhetoric and dig for rational solutions. There is a need to cut wastefulness. There is also a need to be responsible and reasonable. Patriotism is paying your taxes without complaining because they get us roads, clean air and water, cheap reliable energy, education, safety and security (a military), and a stable society. Patriotism is also about demanding a balanced approach with solutions, requiring sacrifice, investment, and a true look at what we can really afford (what we can afford to cut and what we can afford NOT to cut). Let's discuss that.
Real discussion is not happening.
We're all pretty much to blame. Read why: Voters Angry At Washington Gridlock May Want To Look In The Mirror
Voters are becoming entrenched in their views, so much so that they are even unwilling to listen and consider another point of view. Many (not all) politicians move toward more extreme views to get elected and many (not all) refuse to compromise--on absolutely anything--as a result. And those are the politicians who get elected.
Sadly, the politicians who sometimes would cross the political aisle are being replaced by those politicians who pander to the extreme side of either the right of the left of the political spectrum.
And now we suffer with the effects.
Part of the polarization and "do nothing" Congress has much to do with the polarization of America. If the populace wants it's government to actually do something productive for everyone then maybe they need to be more willing to be civil. This doesn't mean we have to agree on everything. Opposing viewpoints are necessary. That's democracy.
Civility means this: what must happen is a demand for more from our politicians (and ourselves)--a willingness to listen and, yes (oh my gosh), actually come to compromise and common ground.
What can't happen are continued overly simplified arguments containing glowing rhetoric without reason, those lacking contextualization, decency, and sound logic that only reduces complexities to simplistic theoretical notions which have nothing to do with the reality of the world and the people who live in it.
There. I feel better now that I got that out. I'm ready for the debate tomorrow night.