Sunday, April 22, 2012

Political Discourse

I try not to engage with the more ... vitrolic political commenters online, because I do think in no small part it's what's killing ACTUAL political discourse in this country.  I was one of those people, more than willing to spew a fair amount of it myself, but I went to vote in 2010, and realized I couldn't vote for the Democratic candidate for the US House.  He was not what I wanted in someone representing me, even though his politics, in general, were much my own.  But the manner in which he had campaigned left me wanting more.  Of course, to be fair, he was fighting a uphill battle in a red district versus a popular GOP Congressman (John Shimkus), so I'm sure he was trying to get traction.  

But that lead me to thinking, if I'm willing to vote for someone I disagree with on the issues because I think he's a better person, am I upholding that same principle?  Would I want to vote for me based on the manner in which I tweet/facebook?  And really, the answer then would be no.  Today I think I'm much better at trying to not be that person, and to act on the idea that we can disagree without being disagreeable.  

And the more I've tweeted at Cong. Shimkus, the more I'm glad I did vote for him, because while we still disagree on a lot, I've found things we do agree on, and that in general, he's been a good Representative to the district.  But more importantly, I think my own comments online have improved, and I try to keep that going.

Which brings me to this:

Which got this response:

Which I retweeted at first, but went back and un-RT'd, because as much as I agree with the sentiment, there's a better way to respond than just calling them a nut job.  And really, he's not going to listen to word either of us (or, Ms. Maddow either, I suppose).  

So how about we stop shouting at each other, and try to find ways to discuss things, factually.  I mean, hell, the reason Congress can sit around doing nothing and blaming each other is because that's what most of the people who elected them do. Ok, so now I'll just put this Self Important Soap Box away...

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