Bifurcation

I will not talk about the debate…I will not talk about the debate…I will not talk about the debate.

Sometimes obfuscation is simpler than engagement.

I have blogged before about the dual nature of my family life…two cultures, two languages, two faiths. My conclusion has always been been that, though difficult, I think our multiplicity makes us (ultimately) all the richer.

But it’s more disconcerting when it’s the country that’s bifurcated. People are shocked by the knowledge that there are normal, educated fellow citizens who would disagree with their position completely. As we tend to revolve around others who are similar in situation, taste, and geography, the idea that we might face resistance when leaving said circle is worrisome. It’s even more worrisome when those people are across the lunch table. My father recently mentioned a conversation he had with a close friend about the economic bailout in which the friend finally became so discombobulated that he couldn’t continue the conversation. His final words before walking away were: “You just don’t know what the heck you’re talking about!”. Easy to argue, less easy to prove- and usually, the conversation-ender.

Here’s my suggestion: can we try, perhaps as a country, to entertain these polar differences? Can we stop seeing our opponent as ignorant, uninformed, or stupid, and begin to discuss the issue? Let’s throw off the shackles of ad hominem and ad populum. Let us not assume that our opinion is shared by “those in the know” and, instead, argue about policy, about positions, about records. Accept the bifurcation as richness rather than the riot act. Address the issues from a pluralist standpoint (and yes, this from a conservative Christian).

With whom do you disagree? Does everyone in your circle think the same way? Might it be time for a change of scenery?

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One Response to Bifurcation

  1. Pingback: Torn « Evenshine’s Weblog

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