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We Are Better Than This

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posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 11:17 PM
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We Are Better Than This

It's not new. The partisan hack business going on around these parts, that is. But it is very toxic. It is toxic to the identification of truth, toxic to the values of fundamental decency most of us aspire to when we write words to be read by others.

Let's stop with the venomous slinging of terms like "The Right" and "The Left" that deny the subtleties inherent in the views of those we disagree with. It's not important that we agree with one another all of the time. It's not important that we make nice all of the time. But it is very important that we treat each other with decency and respect, that we help to propel these conversations about what is wrong and right with the world into the future.

I am by most measures a leftist. I am also a US citizen. An American. If the executive had the balls to declare war and put troops on the ground to fight ISIS, I would enlist and support the military effort to prevent those craven murderers and rapists from doing more harm. Harm to their neighbors, harm to the "citizens" of their "state", harm to Paris, harm to San Bernardino. And many people who would identify themselves as leftists would find my position on this objectionable. So would many who style themselves as right-wingers. But I am not a cardboard cutout and that's my stand. I'm guessing the people reading this thread have a wide spread of opinion on this subject. None of us are cardboard cutouts.

I am a human being with a beating heart, and while the Venn diagram that illustrates my commonality with people on the other end of the spectrum may offer only a thin sliver of overlap in many respects, the fact is that most of us, most of the time, are in agreement when it comes to what the world should look like. We disagree about how to get there, and we disagree about who bears responsibility for holding us back from the common goal. But like a wagon bearing west in early US history, we share a goal and we are in this together. What we disagree about is how to confront the challenges we face. What we share is just about everything else.

To those who might identify themselves as part of "The Right": Please do not make the mistake of casting me and those like me as your enemy. In my eyes, you are my people. My tribe. My family. We may disagree bitterly, but I think you genuinely have my best interests in mind, as I do yours.

To those who might identify themselves as part of "The Left": Please do not make the mistake of interpreting your fellow citizen's concerns, frustrations, and issues, as some peculiar type of political coin. Those who disagree with you hold positions as genuine as yours. Find out how and why you differ. Build bridges. Be aware that you occupy a part of the political spectrum that is infamous for pseudo-intellectual judgmentalism, and do your worst when it comes to defeating that stereotype.

Here I lay my "weapons" so that you may inspect them. It is not now and indeed has never been my desire to bring you harm, to belittle you, to be crude in my dealings. I have made many mistakes. Here is one:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Note: While I still feel many of the things I said in that thread are true, it was quite clearly an example of trolling of which I am not proud. Making people feel angry is no way to make your point.

Please forgive my trespasses and realize that I am not your enemy. Yes, I am a "liberal", but I am also your sister, your brother, your partner in crime. My lot is with yours. Let's figure this world out together, and though this is surely an ambitious request, let's discuss rather than demonize.

I suspect this thread will rapidly find its way to the bottom of the pile, and if that's the outcome, that's alright. I guess I just felt the need to articulate these thoughts after reading, writing, and feeling a lot of political divisiveness.
edit on 23-1-2016 by JohnnyElohim because: typo.




posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 11:25 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyElohim

Then accept my hand in comradeship and shared goals.

While I suspect-and those that think as you do- that you are the exceptions that proves the rule.

I, on the other hand, would not enlist to fight in the ME. If, as you say, Obama grew a pair. he'd still try to run it from the oval office and it would be a mess to say the least....


edit on 23-1-2016 by nwtrucker because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 11:35 PM
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originally posted by: nwtrucker
a reply to: JohnnyElohim

Then accept my hand in comradeship and shared goals.


Done.



While I suspect-and those that think as you do- that you are the exceptions that proves the rule.

I, on the other hand, would not enlist to fight in the ME. If, as you say, Obama grew a pair. he'd still try to run it from the oval office and it would be a mess to say the least....



I understand and respect your hesitation. I agree regarding ISIS, I think. I don't think drone strikes can get this job done. I think we need to commit as we did in World War II. It would not matter to me whether the president was Obama, Trump, or Bush: if someone is willing to commit American lives to this problem, I'm willing to be one of those lives. Every fiber in my being knows that those people are committing evil and must be stopped.



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 11:38 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyElohim

Yup,
the old divide and conquer routine.
Works every time....until now.



posted on Jan, 23 2016 @ 11:50 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyElohim

I can understand your patriotism and willingness to accept your share of the risk and responsibility.

I'm probably a bit older and find myself looking at very, VERY successful military actions that were subsequently screwed up by the diplomatic/political crowd.

My inclination is to let these guys reduce their own numbers rather than having our numbers 'reduced'. Let them work out the survivor/winner and deal with that group. Be it a helping hand or slobber-knocking that bunch.

Bottom line is there is not much trust in that arm of our gov't to ensure it doesn't repeat or set up the inequities for the inevitable next war.

Certainly not without a leader that has time to develop a track record as a President-which none have when entering the position- and has the will to take it to it's proper conclusion. Over and done with....with certainty.



posted on Jan, 24 2016 @ 12:00 AM
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originally posted by: nwtrucker
a reply to: JohnnyElohim

I can understand your patriotism and willingness to accept your share of the risk and responsibility.

I'm probably a bit older and find myself looking at very, VERY successful military actions that were subsequently screwed up by the diplomatic/political crowd.

My inclination is to let these guys reduce their own numbers rather than having our numbers 'reduced'. Let them work out the survivor/winner and deal with that group. Be it a helping hand or slobber-knocking that bunch.

Bottom line is there is not much trust in that arm of our gov't to ensure it doesn't repeat or set up the inequities for the inevitable next war.

Certainly not without a leader that has time to develop a track record as a President-which none have when entering the position- and has the will to take it to it's proper conclusion. Over and done with....with certainty.



Man, that's tough. I share your suspicion and frustration. What I struggle with, personally, is this: I know that these people are unfathomably evil and must be stopped. I also know that I'm not Rambo. Finally, I don't believe in endorsing military action unless you are willing to sacrifice yourself as part and parcel of the deal. I don't believe in voting other people's children off to war. So, if I want something to happen, I must be willing to be part of it. But as a US Citizen, my options are quite narrow unless my leaders agree with me. There are ex special forces folk now who are volunteering time over there to fight, but I am not qualified to be among them. I would absolutely need training. And I'm not willing to swear allegiance to another country's military to get it. And to be entirely honest, I'm not willing to enlist for "any old thing". This is a fight I am willing to sacrifice for. I'm not willing to commit to shoot anyone, anywhere, at any time, because I was told to. No good place to stand, here.



posted on Jan, 24 2016 @ 12:04 AM
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a reply to: JohnnyElohim

Can't argue against your stance one bit.



posted on Jan, 24 2016 @ 12:39 AM
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originally posted by: nwtrucker
a reply to: JohnnyElohim

Can't argue against your stance one bit.



So, you and I probably disagree on many issues. I think I have a lot of opinions you would find argument with. But on this extremely important subject, we strongly agree with each other. I think that's rather awesome.



posted on Jan, 24 2016 @ 05:22 AM
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a reply to: JohnnyElohim
I know of zero conservatives that would have an issue wiping out isis...leaders maybe but individuals...nope. You arent a leftist...maybe a bit more of a libertarian...and there sure isnt anything wrong or bad about being a libertatian.



posted on Jan, 24 2016 @ 09:31 AM
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a reply to: JohnnyElohim

You certainly need some deep soul searching.

Clever writing style indeed.




posted on Jan, 24 2016 @ 09:54 AM
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a reply to: JohnnyElohim

I wish there was a class that taught "Learning how To lose".

No one is ever wrong anymore. Hell, I'll be the first to admit that I'm wrong just as much as I'm right. But no one knows how to lose anymore. No one wants to admit that they are wrong, so these divisions get larger and larger and wider and wider because people can't lose.

I think that if people learned how to lose a debate or to admit that they were wrong on an issue, there'd be a much better atmosphere to actually get things done.



posted on Jan, 24 2016 @ 12:19 PM
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Nice post.

I also wish people would understand that what is described as 'Left' and 'Right' in America are actually just two forms of 'Right' and 'Further Right'.

It's very odd to watch two groups of social conservatives argue about the tiniest of tiny differences in political opinion, with such passion.



posted on Jan, 24 2016 @ 05:04 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyElohim

This was the most interesting thread created and it's getting the least amount of traffic.

Maybe you should have added boobs, or a racial slur, or at the very least. . . . a car chase.



posted on Jan, 24 2016 @ 06:50 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyElohim

very good thread, I wish more people would just realise we are all human, we all have opinions and we are not always right. We need to acknowledge these times and just accept each other.



posted on Jan, 24 2016 @ 07:32 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyElohim

Very good thread. It would be nice to be able to voice opinions without immediately being branded with some derisive term, then blamed for everything anyone who ever fit that description ever did.

I know there is a lot of attention paid to the more intense discourse, especially on political issues. I think it is good to see it monitored for infractions. There is also part of me that is very happy to see people willing to take a rigid stance on issues. Unless they offer nothing but regurgitated rhetoric, it shows that they took an interest and delved deep enough to form a strong opinion worth defending. I will take a deep heart felt argument over a knee-jerk auto-response any time.



posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 02:44 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyElohim

Very good points!

Here are some ideas on how to gap bridges, in addition to the extremely important ability to admit that one has been wrong:

People should attempt to honestly LOOK and OBSERVE:
Look at the RESULTS that a certain solution produces. Use this to judge the rightness/wrongness of the solution, not whether it was a left- or right- or whatever-wing idea.
Try a solution. Observe the results. If things do not improve discard the solution and try the next probable one.



posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 07:48 PM
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originally posted by: odinsway
a reply to: JohnnyElohim
I know of zero conservatives that would have an issue wiping out isis...leaders maybe but individuals...nope. You arent a leftist...maybe a bit more of a libertarian...and there sure isnt anything wrong or bad about being a libertatian.


Ah, but I'm a fan of the notion of a single-payer healthcare system. I opposed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I disagree that illegal immigration is a major issue. And this is what I'm driving at: people's views are complex and our political dialog too often casts things in a dialectical paradigm where there is "The Right" and "The Left", and only one can win. I fear the truth is that if we insist on doing so, we all will lose.



posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 07:49 PM
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originally posted by: xuenchen
a reply to: JohnnyElohim

You certainly need some deep soul searching.

Clever writing style indeed.





I'm not sure what you're trying to imply. Would you care to elaborate?



posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 07:54 PM
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originally posted by: DBCowboy
a reply to: JohnnyElohim

I wish there was a class that taught "Learning how To lose".

No one is ever wrong anymore. Hell, I'll be the first to admit that I'm wrong just as much as I'm right. But no one knows how to lose anymore. No one wants to admit that they are wrong, so these divisions get larger and larger and wider and wider because people can't lose.

I think that if people learned how to lose a debate or to admit that they were wrong on an issue, there'd be a much better atmosphere to actually get things done.


So many times this!

It's fantastic to hear someone else put it this way. I honestly believe that speech and debate ought to be emphasized, mandatory curriculum (that is, if we accept that it's alright for there to be such a thing in the first place). To analyze, to discuss with a cool head, to admit your faults; these are some of the most important skills a person can possess. When people debate (or perhaps more properly, argue) they too often dig their heels in on every point. That accomplishes little. Truth has a texture. And sometimes, conceding a point helps to illuminate more facts that strengthen your argument in the debate. Further, it's about the search for truth and understanding. If both people (or teams) learned something in the course of the debate, everybody won: the debaters and any audience attending.
edit on 29-1-2016 by JohnnyElohim because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 29 2016 @ 07:58 PM
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originally posted by: DBCowboy
a reply to: JohnnyElohim

This was the most interesting thread created and it's getting the least amount of traffic.

Maybe you should have added boobs, or a racial slur, or at the very least. . . . a car chase.


I suppose it's to be expected. When the tone isn't combative, it's all a bit less thrilling. And I'm alright with that. I was moved to write the words but I didn't anticipate a large response. I've been busy and just checked in on this thread and it put a smile on my face to see the new responses. I'll take a handful of like minds if I can get it.




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