I would go to Jon Stewart’s rally. Whether it’s a joke or serious, he does have a point. Where is our sanity? When did issues become so polarized? How did we become so divided as a nation? Where are the voices of those that believe that issues are more complicated than what the media portrays them to be? Where are the people who can see many sides of issues and are willing to work together to find solutions? Why do we only see our differences in party lines? Aren’t there things that we all believe in, unified goals that we agree in and want to work towards?
Jon Stewart is not my savior. Jon Stewart does not have all the answers. But he does ask good questions and, really, that’s what seems to be missing in our conversations. There are no discussions, just arguments and propaganda. There is no open listening, just judgments. It’s not OK to ask tough questions. Just obey.
From what I remember from our pre-marital counseling (and yes there is marriage and politics go hand in hand, it’s about relationship), if two parties enter a discussion and are trying to convince the other person that their side, their opinion, their actions are “right”, then there is no way that they can be united. They fail. Is being right the most important thing anyways? What is “right?” (Sorry, had to ask the questions.) It’s not that they have to agree with what the other person is saying, but to truly know someone, to allow yourself to grow, we must humble ourselves, we must be willing to see that we can learn something from others, we must be also willing to acknowledge that there is a chance, we might also be wrong.
Take the controversial plans to build a Mosque close to Ground Zero of the 9/11 attacks. It seems like the most publicized arguments for or against the proposed plans are centered around Islam and really fail to see the larger picture that the events of 9/11 hurt everyone; every race, religion, and social demographic we can think of. We all have been negatively affected by 9/11. The people who died on the planes and buildings, the heroic responders, all came from different backgrounds and all had their own life stories. Yet the only headlines and major source of debate regarding the Mosque plans is centered around the attackers, their religion, their beliefs. Once again, do we have the courage to ask important questions: Does everyone who considers themselves Muslim believe in what the attackers did? Were the only victims and those affected by 9/11 non-Muslim? Do we think about sensitivity to victims in regards to other controversial events (like government buildings or houses of worship where there was injustice and death to Native Americans or Native Hawaiians)?
All I’m saying is that one only needs to look at peoples’ comments on online news articles or watch one of the news channels (FOX, MSNBC, CNN), and you start to wonder if there are only two kinds of thought in this country, only two kinds of people. Its frustrating that our media only portrays and sets up new stories in two specific lights. Why don’t they highlight the majority of the population who doesn’t fit in a specific political or ideological category? Not entertaining or shocking enough? Could there actually be people who have both liberal and conservative views on issues?
When did asking good questions become the insane thing to do?
Please let me know what you think….maybe it’s just me that feels this way.