If you're looking for this week's Hodgepodge Questions you'll find them here.
Once upon a time I enjoyed following political races and listening to healthy debate. With every passing year and election cycle my enthusiasm has waned until I've gotten to a place where I can barely stand to glance at the headlines. I'm not sure healthy debate even exists in the land of the free and the home of the brave anymore and that makes me so sad.
I turn on the news and the shouting and the arrogance and everyone talking all at the same time gives me such a knot in my stomach I have to hit the mute button, turn it off, walk away. Does anyone listen or does everyone just talk? No need to answer that.
When I hear political ranting I sometimes feel like I'm at a Jr. High lunch table. If these grown adults were my children I'd send them all to their rooms. Just like a 7th grade child who misbehaves they'd be grounded from doing anything more than going to work and coming home. No microphones, websites, talk show circuits. Also included in this mess would be the people who speak on behalf of our elected officials, those who are sent out to do the dirty work, i.e., say the nasty comment, condescend, show the smug face, shake their head at the 'poor uninformed masses'.
We've lost the notion of common courtesy, not just in politics but in America in general. People zealously defend their points of view by attacking with great gusto anyone who dares to differ. The elevator heads straight to the basement too, the lowest place possible, with words like fool, intolerant, and bigot. Remember when those words were reserved for people who really were those things, not just for those with whom you disagreed? The dialogue (I use the term loosely) in recent years has morphed us into a society that has lost its ability, or maybe its will, to come up with solutions to very real and serious problems.
Unless you live under a rock you've no doubt heard
been bombarded by the latest brouhaha revolving around a well known radio talk show host and something he said on air. What began as a hearing on whether or not the federal government could legally require religious hospitals/schools to provide contraception and abortion services under the new health care guidelines has deteriorated into some of the most disgusting rhetoric ever. I'm not going to debate here the original issue and I'm certainly not defending the language used by the radio personality but what I will say is this-whatever happened to the original issue? Where did it go? Its been completely lost in all the bickering, name calling, and aggressive co-opting of the discussion for political gain. And so it goes.
A radio personality is not the equivalent of a US Senator or our President. Neither is a pro ball player, an actor, or a circus clown. A radio personality in America can say whatever they want and people can listen or not, change the station, stage a protest, write letters, pull advertising blah blah blah. We're stuck with our elected officials and they are held to a higher standard than a 'celebrity'. Or at least they should be. After all, we pay their salaries. And while I'm on the subject of celebrity, when did we stop thinking for ourselves and start caring so very much about who some current or former politician or other 'famous' person is supporting for office? Think America!
For the most part I steer clear of politics on my blog, and definitely on my facebook page. I really dislike reading anything political on facebook-blech!. Lately my head has felt like it just might explode if I don't scold someone. Politics has descended into madness and I'm not sure we can find our way back. Unless reason and civility return to public discourse I'm afraid we never will.
This post is linked to the One Word Carnival hosted by Peter Pollack.
Go here to read more posts on today's prompt-'madness'.