I’m not really sure what kind of discussion I’m trying to start here, but I just feel the need to put these thoughts somewhere.
I’m honestly not completely sure exactly where I fit on the political spectrum. I’m definitely leaning more to the left on most issues, but I recognize that I’m a bit of an idealist and that a lot of the strong progressive ideas that I like are simply too difficult or complex to actually work well in our society. Still, I like their ideas and I hope to keep looking for rational ways to support them or compromises between my idealism and realism that could implement policy to improve the life of my family, neighbors, and fellow Americans. For example, I’m a middle school science teacher in a very economically diverse school district, so it’s easy for me to want to give unlimited opportunities to all of my students but also easy to see why beneficial programs can be so hard to fairly implement countrywide or even just at my own school.
I always feel that when you take a stance on something, you should look into the counter argument as much as possible and challenge yourself, ensuring that you are making the most informed decision you can. I started listening to the Ricochet podcast during the election, and haven’t stopped since. I can’t say I always agree with everything they say and on rare weeks I get a little angry and find I just need to walk away from it for a day. But in general I’ve enjoyed the challenge of looking at the other side and seeing what they have to say.
I joined this community after being hounded by them to support the podcast, and did a while back, but was never really sure what to say. I suppose the events of this past weekend compelled me to finally reach out and at least remind myself there are other sane people out there. I worry about these huge, knee-jerk reactions to horrible events that just seem to drive people in the political spectrum farther and farther apart. I’m not in any way a fan of Donald Trump, but how do I know that an extremely leftist Democratic candidate won’t be nominated in the future as their reaction to him? (Admittedly, most of the things I have against him are just his persona and Twitter feed and not necessarily all of his policies.)
But if we keep having these extreme reactions to one another, nothing will ever get done. Congress and the Senate seem to always vote straight up and down party lines, resulting in such an ineffective government. As far as I can tell, little is done to actually get input on bills and laws from the other party. Instead, one constantly insults the other, alienating them and all the people they represent. We need to actually reach across to one another, acknowledge that we disagree, but find some compromise or common ground on larger issues like health care and environmental regulation that could be more beneficial. This bickering, both in the government and on our twitter feeds is honestly driving me nuts.
We can’t continue down this path of pushing each other further and further away. I’m not imagining this image of everything with rainbows and puppy dogs, but we can do better than what we are all doing now. I’m guilty of generalizing the “other side” too, but that’s why I’m here.
I guess this is more of an introductory post to myself and the community, but I hope to hear some of your thoughts on everything I just wrote up there. I didn’t mean for it to be too long, but like I said, I hope to challenge some of the beliefs that I hold, I hope to challenge some of yours, and I hope we can help each other see our perspectives in order to realize that we are all humans and can come up with sane, rational ideas that move away from the craziness that is the current mood of political hysteria.
Thanks for reading. Hope to hear from you and I hope you’ll be seeing me around the boards a little bit more. Feel free to ask any questions on my views and I’d be happy to share more.