Tuesday, November 23, 2004

More Evidence Today

In today's New York Times some additional evidence is spelled out on the split in the United States. By itself the split is alarming, due to the lack of meaningful discussion between the sides. But if we look at what other humans do when there is a split similar to the intensity of the United States', we may have real cause for concern.

As a nation after this election we united behind a single candidate. As doubts, officially unchallenged, continue, suspicion grows and we might even see the same conditions here at home that we see in Ukraine. We can't afford to do nothing. We must begin the dialogue and then maintain it.

Monday, November 22, 2004

A Nation Divided

Seldom have we lived in a nation so divided. We had hoped that President Bush would be able to pull us together, but since he has taken office, with the exception of the 9/11 period the division has grown. During the election there was little or no contact between sides on the issues. Instead, we had televised speeches being made to audiences that already agreed among themselves and with the speaker.

What we have lacked in our politics we need to restore to our society: free and open discussion of issues that face us all. When have we ever noticed that a couple, for example, has grown closer because they didn't speak to each other about the issues that divide them? Not discussing issues between us will likely lead to suspision and mistrust. As a nation we are now seeing deep suspisions and mistrust. The buzz on the internet is constantly commenting and speculating about the evils the other side has committed.

The issues that face this nation, faces us all. We will either solve them together of continue to drift apart. Encourage discussion and debate in your own circles of influence. When there is disagreement think of it as an opportunity to grow towards common goals. Keep in mind, conflict is normal in humans. The resolution of the conflict is the progress we make in our lives.

Friday, November 12, 2004

". . .The Enemy Is Us"

There's much that's good about the United States. One of the things that made this country great is the citizen's willingness and ability to discuss/debate topics of interest to all our communities. There seems to be a growing feeling that in order to avoid conflict, we should avoid discussing/debating the issues of the day, especially when that involves politics. We need to continue this honored routine in our lives. We must use all devices available to improve our views of both the problems and the possible solutions. We can't do it by ourselves, we need each other.

The methods being used in politics today reduce very complicated issues to slogans. Then both sides imply that there is something basically wrong with you, and all your friends, if you don't agree with the slogans. We must insist that the slogans be fleshed out, made clear and applied in discussion. We must all understand what is going on and we must let others know if we think we see a better solution. This method made this country great. We must continue or we will lose or damage our ability to self-govern. Don't make decisions based on unnecessarily limited data and broaden your base of research and discussion, always seeking a broader understanding of the topic at hand.

How can it be that more than 70% of our population indicates that they believe that there are/were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that there was a direct pre-war relationship between Al Quada and Iraq. And yet, where is the data that backs up that belief? We cannot afford the luxury of being swayed by anything other than available data. Then we must use that data to guide our discussions/debates as we attempt to govern ourselves.