Letter: Unneighborly discourse divides us
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
We are suffering worsening political discourse. And not just between the candidates, but among all of us. We have been labeling others with shorthand descriptors: Tea Partier, Christian Right, RINO, Occupier, tax-and-spend liberal, socialist. With a label firmly applied, we stop caring about what others actually think.
I am tired of it.
I wish the one who disagrees with me would not ridicule what I want. I wish he or she would at least repeat my views back to me with some dignity in the description, show me minimal respect by not making a caricature of what I think is important.
Then I would be most pleased if they would find some (admittedly small) part of what I want as worthy of their support, too. I am not a radical. Surely some of what I want for the future is not unique to me, but rather comes out of our shared experience.
My neighbor could start by telling me what we agree about, which of my beliefs are honorable -- we can, and will, get to our disagreements later.
Oh, my. Perhaps I need to behave this way myself. Perhaps I need to model this for my neighbor. Then perhaps the two of us could model it for our political leaders.