Friday, August 20, 2010

Debates Are for Grown-Ups

I continue to hear protestations from both far right and far left thinkers (using that word loosely) that discussions and debates must decide what’s right for America.
But the problem as I see it is you cannot have a fruitful discussion or debate when one side, the other, or both have completely closed and made up their minds on whatever issue is to be discussed.
In order for a debate or grown-up discussion to work those involved must be willing to listen and learn.  They may not like what they hear or end up in agreement but they will at least understand another’s point of view.
Unfortunately the loudest voices are coming from those far sides.
As an example of those with closed minds I offer the 20% of Americans who believe that President Obama is of the Muslim faith.  This even though he has continually stated that he is a Christian and was criticized for belonging to the activist Trinity United Church of Christ of Pastor Jeremiah Wright.
Well folks you just cannot have it both ways.  He is a Christian when you don’t like the Church or Pastor therein and he’s a Muslin when saying that allows you to continue your hatred of an African American as President.
And yes, I said American, not Kenyan.  Get over it!
The underlying prejudices of many of the radical so-called right wing nut jobs are obvious but so is their agenda.  To these closed minded politically charged people it matters not what lie they use as long as they propagate hate.
And frankly I would like to know what place the man’s religion has in the discourse about moving America forward?  Do we not claim to be proud of our credo of religious freedom and our equally important separation of Church and State?
When radical groups use and abuse parts of the Constitution to suit their agenda they are as dangerous to this country as any enemy agent.
For example our freedom of speech is not a total right when that speech is used to incite riot.
The second amendment that allows for the arming of a militia does not implicitly give every citizen the right to carry and conceal weapons, especially assault rifles!
The fourteenth amendment, proposed, backed and written by Republicans was a good one.  It should not be repealed just because some politicians are too cowardly to state their hidden agenda and not bright enough to figure ways to fix separate problems that are unrelated.
When I was a teenager I walked away from a heated argument when my opponent called me an idiot.  He came running after me and pulled my arm to ask why I stopped.  I told him I was no longer capable of arguing with him since, “I’m an idiot, end of story!”
Name calling does not move a debate forward.  It actually bogs it down to the point of stagnation.  And this nation cannot afford to go stag at this moment.
The debates and discussions needed to move America forward must not include the President’s religion or his vacations, working ones though they be.
Hollywood and Disney parks produce enough fantasies for our amusement.  The media, Congress and the politicians therein must not.

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