Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Wearisomeness of Politics


A little reflection from a very tired man. My basic personality is to be too trusting although my journalistic training required skepticism in the best sense. When you are friends with people (no matter what their persuasion), your natural reaction is to believe what they say. I think it's the natural reaction of most to believe what they hear in the media - mainstream or not mainstream. Most of us do not have the time or the resources to "fact check" every report we hear out there. I haven't been employed in broadcast journalism now for 21 years, having been in Christian radio and then Christian missions focused overseas. However, I did co-host a talk show for a long time where I didn't have to be "objective" and could do more editorializing.
So where am I at now, having been burned now and then by passing a few stories on only to find they were either entirely false or only half-truths? My late grandfather once said "Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see." As a Christian, I would never want to KNOWINGLY pass on false information. It is possible to have a different perspective on an issue and what someone says may not be false - just a different view. You have to try and discern the difference. I'll tell you what I really find loathsome.
It's sad enough to have extreme activist types in both political spectrums that knee-jerk and pass on the latest horrific threat, honestly believing what they've read lock, stock and barrel. But I loathe political "strategists " who KNOW the stories they circulate are false or distorted, and who KNOW that they're ginning up unrest to achieve their desired political outcome. It's detestable.
I really would love to see political discourse leave aside the ugly name calling, personal attacks, vilification, impugning of motives etc, and see a true discussion of an ISSUE looking quietly and rationally at the pros and cons, and a civil debate on the ISSUE without making it personal or demeaning. But I think those days are gone. Politics has always been a contact sport and it's always had an ugly side, but I've never seen it this bad. Every day, I find myself getting angry and wanting to lash out with an intemperate remark. I can't always resist the temptation, and shame on me.
A final observation. If the politicians we elect are really as evil and wicked as they have been portrayed and sometimes appear (and I think some are), we are in real, real trouble.

1 comment:

Olam Ha-Ba said...

If the next president and congress do not reverse Obama's policies, both domestically and internationally, we ARE in real, real trouble. Unfortunately, the Republicans are composed of cowardly lions, tin woodmen and scarecrows.