There are always more than two sides to any given matter. Hell, truth itself always comes in three distinct flavors:
· The Absolute
Maybe it’s for ease of understanding, but we are bombarded by messages of either/or, this or that, and choices on opposite ends of a given extreme. Yet really, the middle between these extremes is the absolute.
In the United States, we are facing an election that may well be all about the soul of the nation. One side, while imperfect, has a range of viewpoints. The other side has one — and it’s entirely based on attacking the opposite side.
The Republicans are all about “us” versus “them.” Their entire message is presently you are with us or against us. If you don’t find that utterly disheartening and disturbing — I have no idea what to tell you.
Extremism of this nature is not how the nation was founded in the first place. What’s more, in a modern society such as ours there are so many viewpoints — and negating and invalidating those in opposition of your own doesn’t do you or anyone else any good.
Agreeing to disagree versus fingers in your ears
I wanted to avoid getting political here — but I can’t. One side of this current contest is applying logic and reason while the other just isn’t.
The Republicans have embraced Trump, his lies, and his efforts to erode the country in the interest of their power. They claim the Democrats will do what they are, in fact, doing — and even blame them for their own abhorrent actions. They’re really good at selling this false reality, too.
The Democrats are still fighting among themselves to some degree. That’s because there IS more than just one viewpoint within the party. There are centrists and extremists and other opinions. Yet they are working to come together to combat the false narrative of the Republicans.
The Democrats are striving to create a message of hope, logic, and reason. The Republicans are creating a message of fear, lack, scarcity, and destruction of your way of life.
This whole thing is a mess — in part because, while Democrats tend to be capable of agreeing to disagree, the Republicans have reached this place of sticking their fingers in their ears and screaming “LALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU YOU ARE WRONG!” no matter what comes their way.
Don’t believe me? How many bills sit on Mitch McConnell’s desk from the Democrat-led House, untouched, simply because they were created by Democrats? The answer should be ZERO — but it’s not, because McConnell has his fingers in his ears.
This has turned what should be civil discourse into something akin to name-calling in a school playground.
But these messages are not the truth of our present reality when all is said and done. Don’t lose hope. You are not alone. We can still get a win for logic and reason.
Logic and reason can prevail
Do you remember when politicians had civil discourse between them? To some degree I don’t — but it was a thing, not that incredibly long ago.
Somewhere along the way, our society in general began to look more and more to the extremes. You have two viewpoints here — and you are either ‘a’ or ‘b,’ black or white, short or tall, thin or fat, and on and on and on.
But so very little of reality is, in fact, at those extremes. Most fall somewhere between. Perhaps leaning towards one or another — but still not quite at that either/or.
While I have been discussing this thus far from a wide-angle big-picture view, this applies to real life. For example — I am white, but my skin turns fairly dark in the summer. I’m short and heavyset — but I move with grace and ease akin to someone tall and lanky. I am male but I am also a feminist.
Overall, I tend not to fall into extremes in any way. Just about everyone that I know also doesn’t fall into extremes. They live between them.
I suspect that you do, too.
This is why — when all is said and done — logic and reason can prevail over fear and propaganda. Maybe I am naïve in believing this, but I think more people are logical and reasonable than are not. But while the logical and reasonable can agree to disagree and hold debate — the illogical and unreasonable have their fingers in their ears and are shouting to drown everyone else out.
Why else would the Republican platform this election simply be stand with Trump — and nothing else?
Keep making noise
The challenge we are facing right now is continuing to make noise so that the shouters with their fingers in their ears stop being empowered to create an artificial, false reality beneficial to a very limited few.
That is where protests come in. Marching for women, science, Black Lives Matter, and the like. Continuing to demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, and everyone else murdered by police (because these were ALL murders — and though cops, the perpetrators need to face consequences). Vote in the elections.
The other — in some respects larger issue — is those who don’t choose to take a side or make a stand. You cannot just sit in the wings and watch what is going on because it doesn’t currently impact you directly. It does. And it will.
Get the undecided into the discussion. Make noise to get their attention, even if you can agree to disagree. Get them involved, and let’s work to apply logic and reason and show why it matters.
The fear-based society of today has not always been so. Hence, with some work, we can change it to one that is reason-based. But that requires us to hold debates, and to keep making noise like those with their fingers in their ears — only because our ears aren’t plugged, we can hear one another.
Recognizing that there are more than two viewpoints is important. And not a bad thing for people to work with. I know its really rough right now — but take heart. Don’t lose hope. You are not alone.
Be mindful and decide for yourself
Finally — pay attention, but filter what you take in. Look at what is happening in the world out there, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Don’t think you can do anything about it or change it? You’re mistaken — because you can.
It begins with you. Be conscious of your thoughts, feelings, and actions in the here-and-now. That will let you practice mindfulness to find your place and do your part to just be. That will help you to see where you are versus where you were versus where desire to be. In turn, that can be used to help the world at large.
We are not all in the same boat — but we’re all in the same storm. When we work together, we can better navigate this stormy sea with logic and reason. None of us are truly going at it alone. Know that you are empowered as such.
Together, we can still get a win for logic and reason — and change the world and our individual lives for the better.
Know that you are worthy and deserving of using mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done our thoughts, feelings, and actions matter, as does agreeing to disagree and recognizing multiple viewpoints.