24 March 2009

And Then My Head Exploded (And Donkeys Came Out)

One thing I asked my friend, Alli, about my new job: Do people talk politics much there?

Fortunately, the answer was no.

Don't get me wrong. I quite enjoy politics. I especially enjoy talking politics. That is, I enjoy talking politics in a civilized way. You know, where two or more people can express their opinions in ways that the others in the conversation can begin to understand why the participants believe the way they do. I don't even mind if the participants get a little flushed or maybe even frustrated. It's important that we, as members of the political process, understand why we believe what we do, and that we can back up our statements with facts.

I do not like conversations held in Maher versus Hannity style. Is anything gained from those sorts of discussions? Lines are drawn more clearly. Liberals jump eagerly on the liberal side; conservatives willingly rush to the conservative side. Neither side better understands the motives and beliefs of the other.

I work in a particularly conservative place. I, by Utah standards am rather liberal, by nation-wide standards rather moderate (although slightly liberal), and by Kiwi standards rather conservative. It took all of my will-power to just keep my mouth closed, and only raise my eye-brows when I was looking down and nobody could see my facial expression.

Here are a couple of things that I heard that caused much deep breathing and counting on my part:

"I was listening to him the other day, and I just realized what an idiot he is." This sentence was said referring to President Obama. And maybe it wasn't meant literally, but I thought, "The guy went to Harvard Law, I'm pretty sure he's not an idiot." Perhaps that was a poor choice of words, but then somebody else said:

"I just hope he fails so America will realize what a terrible choice they've made." So, let me get this straight? You WANT our country to do poorly just so your political opinions can be validated? Sounds like a great plan.

I think I was bothered, not just by the things they said, but the general assumption that everyone around agreed with them. I guess, what I'm really trying to say Nem said best back in November.


Marcindra LaPriel said...

Yeah. Logic doesn't really exist much when it comes to politics...I mean how people view politics.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Just come back to the blogosphere where everyone will love and validate your liberal commie pinko ideas. You know, I mean about wanting our country to move forward in some kind of positive direction.

Mal Mecham said...

Ah! You're so right. I have such a hard time listening to people complain about a situation that they don't even understand! Why are you leaving me?!

Jillybean said...

Agreed. I think it usually comes down to people feeling intimidated by different opinions so they fight their way of an non-existent corner... or they don't know what they're talking about so they just act like everyone else is an idiot. Somehow that makes the perfect I'm-a-genius-inside facade.

*Sigh* People.

AmiZOOKey said...

I love your friend Nem's blog. So awesome.