Divided we stand?

There are many articles on how politically polarized our country is and much speculation over why it is happening.  Liberals and conservatives are "not that into you" with regard to each other.  I suppose we could try to focus on what we have in common, but that seems to decrease every day.  You cannot build a successful society on bilateral symmetry alone.

We allow ourselves to be separated by every point of difference.  The worst, in my opinion, is with regard to language:

  • Some blacks push for restricting access by whites to legitimate English words.  When I was a child, before "black" became the way to reference skin color when relevant, the polite term was "negro."  I tried to be a polite child.  I don't recall ever using the cruder N-word, even in reference to Brazil nuts.  These same activists likely would protest vehemently if whites said blacks could no longer use certain words – say, "crackers."
  • Pronouns are now a battleground.  The LG-etc. demographic wants to dictate pronouns that may be allowed on an individual basis.  When I was learning English, I was taught to use masculine pronouns if the sex (e.g., of a "person") is indeterminate.  Now I joke about demanding that the pronouns that may be used in reference to me are antidisestablishmentarianism, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.  I realize they aren't considered pronouns, but at this point, I don't care.
  • #lovehasnolabels. (Link plays video immediately.)  The word "patriotism" already has a definition.  It doesn't need to be redefined to be "love of everybody."  That would be "philanthropy."  If its definition isn't close enough to what is meant, then invent a new word, because "patriotism" is taken.  Further, the concept that you cannot claim to love a group unless you love each member of the group doesn't seem to apply to any other grouping.

If we cannot all speak the same language, how are we ever to negotiate our differences of opinion?

Then there is politics:

  • There is no agreement on the basic concept that we should all be treated the same.  Minorities may long for equal treatment in some cases, but in others, they want and demand separate facilities.  Prayer rooms and places to wash feet for Muslims.  Safe spaces that only blacks can use.
  • Liberals in some cases disown their conservative family members and friends.
  • Conservatives are treated as though they are evil, not just interested in different goals or means of achieving them.  Obviously, evil people should not be spoken with – unless you're one of those wackos who believes in that redemption (definition 3) thing.  (Full disclosure: I do.)

If it were possible to set up equations that determined the relative trade-offs for everything in contention in society, I have wondered whether most people could agree that some amount of a negative thing is a reasonable sacrifice to make in exchange for a lot of a positive thing.  For example, maybe discrimination isn't possible to completely eliminate, but suppose it could be greatly reduced using means that enhanced most people's (of all races and ethnicities) access to jobs, housing, etc.  Would the continued existence of some discrimination be tolerable for the sake of greater public welfare and satisfaction?  Some would say yes, others no.  Worse, few would accept the model results.  After the debacle of climate models, I don't blame them.

Real life requires compromises.  Even Ivory soap was only 99.44 percent percent pure.  No, our candidates are not perfect, and we can still justify voting for them because of what we hope they'll do in spite of their personal flaws.  Our significant others aren't perfect, we aren't perfect, our very souls are flawed.  Perfection is not achievable on Earth.  Even saints sinned.  To demand perfection is to insist on separation from others – if for no other reason than that you must demand separation in order to protect them from your flaws.

So, divided we stand.  We cannot communicate well, and many of us refuse to try to communicate, or throw up obstacles to how we may communicate regarding the things we all care about – safety, work, food, clothing, shelter, and a little entertainment, plus a bit more income than we need to pay our bills, so we can prepare for emergencies or save a bit toward retirement, because even if government is made responsible for paying for everything, it's not quick about it.

We have to talk.  Let's start by agreeing that the United States is a sovereign nation, with borders, and citizens who have more rights than non-citizens.

Oh, dear.  I've already lost most liberals.

There are many articles on how politically polarized our country is and much speculation over why it is happening.  Liberals and conservatives are "not that into you" with regard to each other.  I suppose we could try to focus on what we have in common, but that seems to decrease every day.  You cannot build a successful society on bilateral symmetry alone.

We allow ourselves to be separated by every point of difference.  The worst, in my opinion, is with regard to language:

  • Some blacks push for restricting access by whites to legitimate English words.  When I was a child, before "black" became the way to reference skin color when relevant, the polite term was "negro."  I tried to be a polite child.  I don't recall ever using the cruder N-word, even in reference to Brazil nuts.  These same activists likely would protest vehemently if whites said blacks could no longer use certain words – say, "crackers."
  • Pronouns are now a battleground.  The LG-etc. demographic wants to dictate pronouns that may be allowed on an individual basis.  When I was learning English, I was taught to use masculine pronouns if the sex (e.g., of a "person") is indeterminate.  Now I joke about demanding that the pronouns that may be used in reference to me are antidisestablishmentarianism, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.  I realize they aren't considered pronouns, but at this point, I don't care.
  • #lovehasnolabels. (Link plays video immediately.)  The word "patriotism" already has a definition.  It doesn't need to be redefined to be "love of everybody."  That would be "philanthropy."  If its definition isn't close enough to what is meant, then invent a new word, because "patriotism" is taken.  Further, the concept that you cannot claim to love a group unless you love each member of the group doesn't seem to apply to any other grouping.

If we cannot all speak the same language, how are we ever to negotiate our differences of opinion?

Then there is politics:

  • There is no agreement on the basic concept that we should all be treated the same.  Minorities may long for equal treatment in some cases, but in others, they want and demand separate facilities.  Prayer rooms and places to wash feet for Muslims.  Safe spaces that only blacks can use.
  • Liberals in some cases disown their conservative family members and friends.
  • Conservatives are treated as though they are evil, not just interested in different goals or means of achieving them.  Obviously, evil people should not be spoken with – unless you're one of those wackos who believes in that redemption (definition 3) thing.  (Full disclosure: I do.)

If it were possible to set up equations that determined the relative trade-offs for everything in contention in society, I have wondered whether most people could agree that some amount of a negative thing is a reasonable sacrifice to make in exchange for a lot of a positive thing.  For example, maybe discrimination isn't possible to completely eliminate, but suppose it could be greatly reduced using means that enhanced most people's (of all races and ethnicities) access to jobs, housing, etc.  Would the continued existence of some discrimination be tolerable for the sake of greater public welfare and satisfaction?  Some would say yes, others no.  Worse, few would accept the model results.  After the debacle of climate models, I don't blame them.

Real life requires compromises.  Even Ivory soap was only 99.44 percent percent pure.  No, our candidates are not perfect, and we can still justify voting for them because of what we hope they'll do in spite of their personal flaws.  Our significant others aren't perfect, we aren't perfect, our very souls are flawed.  Perfection is not achievable on Earth.  Even saints sinned.  To demand perfection is to insist on separation from others – if for no other reason than that you must demand separation in order to protect them from your flaws.

So, divided we stand.  We cannot communicate well, and many of us refuse to try to communicate, or throw up obstacles to how we may communicate regarding the things we all care about – safety, work, food, clothing, shelter, and a little entertainment, plus a bit more income than we need to pay our bills, so we can prepare for emergencies or save a bit toward retirement, because even if government is made responsible for paying for everything, it's not quick about it.

We have to talk.  Let's start by agreeing that the United States is a sovereign nation, with borders, and citizens who have more rights than non-citizens.

Oh, dear.  I've already lost most liberals.