I Hate Politics, Because We No Longer Listen as a Nation

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Today is election day and whether there’s a Blue Tsunami, Red Wave or Purple Ocean, I couldn’t care less and will be happy when Wednesday, November 7, 2018, rolls around and the television shows I watch will again have as commercials washed up old actors peddling diabetes medications rather than showcase political attacks ads funded by special interests who couldn’t find the town I live in on a map if their lives depended on it.

Don’t get me wrong, as much as I hate what has become of our national system, I sure wouldn’t trade it for the banana republic-style of doing things any day of the week and even with all its problems, I sure do love this nation.

Political division is neither a bad thing nor a new thing in this nation, all the way back to the 1700s, when our Constitution was being written, there were divisions between the parties — should the populace states have more power or equal power to the less populace.

A century later, we finally got around to tackling our greatest stain, the repulsive issue of slavery and in the fifteen decades that have since followed, we have one by one found ourselves divided as a people.

Division is nothing new in America, we’ve been divided since we first declared ourselves united.

Unlike in the 1780s, however, one thing we’re now far more guilty of is that, as a people, we simply do not listen anymore.

During my rambunctious youth, I had a wise old teacher in high school give me some of the most simple, yet profound, advice I’ve ever heard, “God gave you two ears and only one mouth — this means you’re supposed to listen twice as much as you talk.”

As a writer in the Internet age,  I am never ceased to be amazed at how people will be brought to a point of rage, ready to fight me, behind some distant keyboard in the comments section, over an article of which they’ve only read the title.

It’s both sides, too.  In the age of FOX News and MSNBC, we’re no longer exposed to any view point other than the one which lines up with our preconceived prejudices.  What began as the age of enlightenment has been reduced to a second wave of the dark ages where folks on one side scream in the face of their opponents, either accusing them of being “commies” and “unpatriotic” or “bigoted racists” who “are stupid and uneducated”.

Not too long ago, I published an article about state flags, discussing why most of them stink and many were whipped together as a last second thought in order to appear on a newly christened ship or appear at the World’s Fair!  To my astonishment, many of the commenters on the social media post were arguing why I had no business changing the Georgia flag or the Texas and Tennessee flags, which had absolutely nothing to do with the article.

So many of the comments were, “Why?”.  I thought to myself, if you click on the link and read the article, you’d see why I’m saying this!

I can handle someone disagreeing with me, that’s just life.  But what I take great exception to is when people are ready to fight over what they’re assuming I’m going to say, rather than actually take the time to listen to what I have to say.

In America, we have a lot of issues tackle, but we’re not going to ever get anywhere until both sides shut their mouths and open their ears.

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