Bob & Sally Meet the Internet
OR, crazy thought, Sally and Bob could both sit down and actually talk about what the election meant to them beyond the superficial level thrown out as truth by the mainstream media and come to the understanding that both sides want the best for our country. And upon agreeing on that singular point, as real adults do, they decide to ensure that the administration and Congress serve the people, not the money.
Amazingly, the conversation and the subsequent revolution of the people does not detract to personal attacks or violent bloodshed.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from conservatives about liberals is the lack of tolerance. Isn’t that nuts? The side that insists on tolerance for all is less than tolerant of their conservative counterparts? No way! But it’s true! And I think the problem lay in the understanding of what tolerance actually means:
1. the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.
This does not mean you have to understand the why of it, or agree with it, but understand that people are allowed to disagree with you. Vehemently so even. But tolerance means you can let them believe what they want without being an asshat.
Does this mean you have to like their ideas? Nope, but you cannot ask for tolerance, if you’re unwilling to reciprocate.
But Connie, they believe in dumb shit!
True, sometimes they do! Religion, environment, familial teachings… it all contributes. But they think you do, too! And just like you, they think they’re in the right.
But Connie, they want to do all these bad things!
I get that! So stand up and prevent those bad things from happening. You can actually, actively work against their agenda without treating them like shit in the process. And I encourage you to do so.
For the record, being a douche canoe never changes minds. Ever.
Here’s the thing… do you know that, contrary to what many Trump voters believe, Sally doesn’t want money or corruption in the government. And Bob, contrary to Hillary supporters, really doesn’t the whole country to be white and Christian.
That’s why we have the conversation. That’s why we find common ground. No one wants corporations to have more power than the people, or elected officials to serve their lobbyists instead of us, but all that gets blurred when we stand there pointing fingers about who is worse.
I can’t stand for the creation/continuation of a second class citizenry in this country. And none of my conservative friends don’t want that either. Crazier still, we both want to keep our country safe from outside threats while addressing the agenda within our interior.
But we can’t do any of that, if we don’t first agree that it’s not you vs me, but We the People vs Elected Officials who are taking great advantage of the fear and hate in this country.
If we get there, corruption will be a rarity, not the norm.
Also, term limits. But that’s a whole other story.
How do essentially polar opposites find common ground?
Look, I’m a huge Bernie Supporter (Hindsight is 2020! ) , and I admit that what I’m proposing is not at all easy. But nothing worth having is!
With the extremists on both sides, you’re not going to find common ground, because they are both ‘my way or the highway’. There is little to no wiggle room, as they are invested in their agendas and unwilling to change. Damn pride. But they are, contrary to mainstream media, the fringe, the minority.
The vast majority of Hillary supporters do not want an oligarchy. They wanted a woman in the White House. They wanted someone who has, time and again, supported women’s rights. They didn’t want Trump. And for many of them, she was different than what we had going. Right or wrong.
The vast majority of Trump supporters do not want a tyranny, either. They wanted something different, and man, is he different. He talked like they do. He said all the right things, and despite the ugliness surrounding him (and his personal ugliness that he spread like a virus), they really wanted to believe that he would keep his promises.
AND we spent so much damn time arguing about the validity of her emails and his crotch-grabbing, that no one talked about the issues (except for Bernie, who was still working for us, regardless of his loss). And unless you were someone like me, who does not succumb to mainstream media, requires more data and actively looks for it, no one thought about the consequences of his promises.
So how do we meet in the middle? Well, stop the damn name calling, finger pointing nonsense. Not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist misogynist . Not everyone who voted for Hillary is a feminazi libertard. Stop that bullshit before you come to the table.
Then figure out how we make this country better, with or without the government. Central to my personal platform is the concept of community: if we take care of our own, it won’t matter what big government does.
These conversations start at the lowest level: How do we get the local/state governments to better fund education? What priorities are we willing to compromise on, and which ones will we be unable to let go? What skills do you have to help? Which ones do I have? How do we organize to ensure that the people we elected into Congress hear us? Phone calls in droves are AMAZINGLY effective.
Then we don’t have to argue about who voted for whom, or the why of it. We pull on our big boy and girl undies and be the change we want to see.
Not easy. Lots of obstacles. But it can be done.
We just have to want it more than proving who is wrong.