The fringes on both sides of the political spectrum have created a vacuum. The Radical Middle must rise and create a new Common Ground and move our country forward. Reasonable, Sensible, Balanced. Outrage does none of us good. Let us stop screaming at each other and get to work!
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Belief and Proof in Discussion; The America I Envision
"Just because you believe yourself doesn't make it true."
This is not just a good line when it fits the situation, it's the perfect line when it's absolutely clear that this is what has been present in a discussion or debate. Especially after multiple attempts have been afforded for and never fulfilled by someone to lay out the proof or claims that is said to be in abundance, it is indeed usually true that the opinion is not actually factually based but is only belief or faith based.
I strive to not make claims about the future, unlike some people. I strive to not make false claims about the past or mischaracterize people's past in order to smear someone's character or their present positions. This is often what happens on social media or in political discussions. Instead of actually constructing fact-based or logical, rational arguments for or against a candidate, some people resort to making an attack on the character of a person. That’s a belief about someone, not something that could ever be refuted and rarely proven to be true.
For example, I’ve not said whether or not any candidate will make great changes for the country. I believe we’ve all seen in multiple political campaigns how campaign promises becomes broken on the steps of Capitol Hill. However, I do feel that some candidates have better policies, better experiences, and a better overall package of proposals for our country’s current set of dilemmas and situations.
Laying out the reasons for a candidate's positions juxtaposed with their history and experiences that buttress those positions and their campaign is how I choose to discuss any campaign or candidacy. I feel this is a more productive, inclusive way of discussing differences of opinions as opposed to attacking, demeaning, or demonizing candidates.
One never knows what candidate will be able to actually deliver on their promises. Anyone who believes the candidate will deliver on all of those promises is frankly foolish.
Again, if I make a false claim about something or someone that I'm not able to prove or that others are not able to refute, please, call me out on it or refute it. I welcome being challenged. I need that. However, that challenge should come in the form of facts, logic, and reasoning and not character attacks, baseless allegations, and innuendos. Our society and media too often resorts to these in order to stifle progress and open discussion.
Sometimes, I am mistaken. I check myself even more than I check others. I didn't arrive at my perspective or opinions out of thin air. Each is based on research, broad-based pooling of many alternative views and perspectives of others, and an in-depth examination of as many factors as possible. I’m always accruing more information, experience, and perspectives.
I attempt to look into my own blind spots and discover where those blind spots are because I purposefully seek out those who have extremely oppositional views or very strongly held views that will challenge me.
So, yes, if someone isn't actually saying or proving something specific, thinking they've proven it but they've never actually done so, I will always call them out on that. I expect the same in return. I certainly don’t take it personally.
Perpetuating false beliefs is not healthy. I don't want our nation to fall even deeper into divisiveness and partisanship. The Democratic party seems at a critical stage and has the potential to fall ill to the same pitfalls that the Republican party fell into decades ago, but I won't give up on my country.
I may not be a Democrat, but right now I see the Democrats as the only hope for a governing party as the Republicans are in such disarray as they've stoked fear, anxiety, anger, and rage within their base for so long that it’s now being directed back at their establishment leaders.
Government isn’t the problem. Bad governance is.
Finding the middle ground where solutions & progress meet, revenues & the economy grow, and liberty & opportunity thrive is the America I envision. I’ve not given up on her. Neither should any of us.