I'm sad. I've struggled with the authorship of this thread for days, because I don't know where to begin, or how to couch it in a manner that won't
make it worse. And more so, where to put it. Board Questions and Business seems wrong. So here it is in Social Issues.
Manipulating The Narrative
There are republic-threatening problems in the United States (and other countries) that are the unintended consequences of the intense
left-versus-right political pissing-match that began getting much worse some time during Bush Sr's reign. Hate now comes easy in nearly any issue,
because it appears that any issue can be easily divided across liberal/conservative and religious battle lines. Law enforcement, foreign policy,
economics, religion, health care, science, education, entertainment, freedoms, and more… everything.
It seems every week, new intensely divisive topics emerge in the public narrative. And entrenched opinion-makers on each of the polarized "sides" of
the issue fan the self-serving flames with intentionally provocative rhetoric, lies, distortion, and bastardized ideologies.
Here on ATS, we generally enjoyed a nice run where all held a diversity of opinions, theology, and world-views with a minimum of intense clashes. We
were among the precious few who were informed enough to realize the manufactured nature of the public discontent. Over the past two years, that "run"
has come to a halt. And over the past few months, we've lost the plot… falling victim to the manipulations of the "sides."
I care deeply for this unique collection of people who have an impassioned need add their voice to this massive collection of some of the most thought
provoking content on the Internet. We all saw different things in ATS, but we all felt a need to contribute and make it better.
I know that feeling is fading for some, and for others, it's gone.
Our Yoke Of Destruction
Someone for whom I had great respect, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who seemed to effortlessly comment on divisive issues with an elegance of words, once
said: "Disagreement is vital to the evolution of society, making it personal is our yoke of destruction." (I forget the setting, sometime in the mid
'90's, but it stuck with me)
Many topics throughout ATS are overrun with hateful intolerance. Deference to another's beliefs, world-view, ideology, politics, or lack thereof is
becoming a rare, if not extinct, commodity. The compulsion to point out critical fault, often in an insulting way, in another's beliefs, politics,
ideology or lack thereof is increasing with reckless abandon.
If we can't turn the tide here on our beloved ATS and represent to the world a unique collection of people, who all think differently but represent
the gold standard for deference in discourse, what hope do we have?
Perhaps I'm just a sad dreamer. Someone with an idealist's point of view that is fading from relevance.
Is There Hope?
But maybe there's hope. Let's see if there is. I want to challenge our members to stow their animosity for beliefs not their own in one area for one
This time of year, originating as pagan solstice celebrations and evolving with the Christ Mass, has had core common themes from the Norsemen to
modern Christian celebrations; that of hope for the new sun/year, goodwill toward others, and gifts of importance for those in need.
Let's stand down from the religiously-inspired bickering and give each other the gift of silence.
Let's extend goodwill toward those we used to engage in heated debate.
Let's show hope for a new year.
One week, starting now.
edit on 23-12-2013 by SkepticOverlord because: (no reason given)