2 Aug 2016

Opting Out of Talking Politics

Opting Out of Talking Politics

Over the past several weeks there has been a noticeable  increase of individuals making disclaimer statements on social medial and professional websites announcing they choose not to engage in the discussion of politics and issues.  From a guttural perspective many of us fully feel the risk of expressing our views but opting out of talking politics is the wrong response.

I have personally witnessed the level of anger, “heels in the sand” stances, hard feelings and divisiveness our current political environment creates within my own inner circle.  Opting out of discussing politics is a personally motivated, and selfish, abandonment of our obligations as citizens in a fee democracy.

In fact, because the vast majority of Americans choose for one reason or another to voluntarily be indifferent, uninformed or biasedly engaged we are creating the very discourse that strangles our country and us personally.

Our schools teach our students to understand differing perspectives, seek facts, appropriately present your ideas then reflect- all in an environment that does not condone bullying or intimidating behaviors.  Why do adults act worse than the children?

The way to strengthen our democracy, respect diversity and allow the natural evolution of the best pluralistic outcome is to engage in respectful, open minded and ongoing dialogue about the issues currently impeding the growth of our democracy.  We must embrace civil conversation, discussion and debate around the root of the issues and not fall victim to the emotional periphery.

Opting out of talking politics is not the answer.  By choosing to do so we are aiding the fundamental flaw in our democracy- disengagement. 

People need to listen more than they talk, actively seek to understand each other’s perspective, personally reflect on perspectives of others and be open to modify your position.  Until we do this, at every level of politics- school boards to the president of the United States- the divisiveness will widen, intolerance will grow and corrupt thinking will flourish.

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