Tuesday, October 21, 2008

common political ground: helping others

I don't blog about politics, because the whole scene makes me wish I'd been born a simple water buffalo. I enjoy discussions, and I mull issues over long and hard, but if I tried to write about politics myself, I'd only say a bunch of stupid, inaccurate stuff. That being said, this entry is about politics only on the surface; what it's really about is trying to understand each other.

I've been struck lately by the common ground people of various political affiliations share, based on a number of conversations. Specifically, my family - parents, siblings, and spouses - have been emailing back and forth about the candidates at hand. Rachel compiled our whole discussion into a Word document, and it currently stands at 32 pages in pretty small font. We run the whole gammit as far as party loyalties, and between the nine of us, we're probably going to cancel out each others' votes in November.

One issue at the forefront of our discussion is that of social interventions. We seem to basically agree on helping people who truly cannot help themselves with necessities like food, shelter, and care; our faith and consciences call for it. The difference is that some of us (those leaning leftward) feel the ultimate authority for and funding of such endeavors belong to the federal government, while others of us (those leaning rightward) feel it is the duty of individuals, small groups, nonprofits, local communities.

And, that's it. That's pretty much what I wanted to say.

Do you see how those associated with the opposite party as yours are not necessarily evil or greedy or pansy-ish or whatever other labels we throw on each other, at least on this issue? Sure, if you listen to the loudest voices (like those on t.v. or the radio), you'll get a really bad impression of "the other team." But if you spend some time talking to real people who associate with one party or another, you just might find these gems of common ground. Like, A LOT OF US WANT TO HELP PEOPLE WHO TRULY CAN'T HELP THEMSELVES. Cool!

Of course, the hard part is reconciling everybody's ideas for precisely how to get that job done. Granted. But it's nice to pause every now and again to simply understand each other.


tamie said...

absolutely. this is why watching most of the news is a pretty worthless activity, but actually educating yourself and talking to your friends is a really worthwhile activity! thanks, lori.

Christi said...

That makes a lot of sense to me...thanks.