Thursday, June 16, 2005

Political "debate" so depressing

Just read some "debate" between lefties and righties over at a conservative blog. It's so depressing how everyone talks past each other. Can people who disagree never discuss something honestly? I sometimes think about trying to find some right-leaning person to do an open debate with me, but I never really pursue it for a rather bizarre reason. If I were to get in a real debate, that was truly worthwhile, it would take forever. In the end, I'd rather write, listen to music, hang out with family, and do research to learn about the world, not do textual analysis on years of paper work to ferret out something. Politics is not that interesting. I'd be dragged kicking and screaming into it if I was obligated to do it for real.

I hereby pledge myself to be constructive.


andi said...

Yes, political debate can be terribly depressing. I remember, as a teenager, being influenced by the cool older guys I knew, who at the jaded age of 19, had given up the dialogue because, they said, "It doesn't do any good. If someone has made up their mind, I'm never going to get through to them and vice versa."

You know what's funny, though? Somehow I ended up married to a Republican. And in the few instances that I do discuss politics with him, we sometimes manage to keep our tempers and really get down to the heart of matters - and we discover that we actually agree more often than we disagree. Weird, huh?

I'm just trying to say that I understand your frustration. But don't give up. It's not about the destination - it's about the journey.

pacatrue said...

Hiya, Thanks for the comment, and I think you may be the first "outside" person to ever read this. At least, I do not recognize the "andi" nick. Now of course, I have very likely insulted you. "How can he not remember the name andi" you are thinking? You may feel free to insult me back.

Your discussions with your husband make sense. This is not the same, but I am having something similar with my current middle school kids. In a group, they feel it necessary to goof off, run around, make friends laugh, and do everything they can to not hear me. In fact the desire to ignore all I say is overwhelming to them. I think it is because if you listen to others, then you lose a bit of control - ideas that are not your own can get in. Then every once in a while, I get one of the kids aside for 5 minutes and discover that they really do know what is going on, and they listen to me for a minute or two.

The point is merely that my experience is the same. Two humans one on one often really can hear each other, but when they are on a team - and winning the debate is the only issue - no one learns much of anything. The pseudo-anonymity of the Internet unfortunately can truly magnify this tendency. Why not just insult each other when no one knows who you are? It is certainly easier.