Tag Archive for Republican party

DN=: Part 1–Does Not Equal

Perhaps, like me, you have noticed a preponderance of equal signs lately, on Facebook and elsewhere.  I have also noticed a link between the equal sign and false accusations of “hatred, bigotry and ignorance” being directed at people who are not necessarily on board with the equal sign.

 

This got me to thinking about people and their differences.  Obviously, there’s a whole bunch of us on this planet, and we are all unique, as are our experiences and perspectives.  We all see life a little bit differently, yet it seems that we all also carry with us the assumption that everyone sees life in exactly the same way.

 

I expect this is our natural self-centeredness at work.  If someone doesn’t share our point of view, well, then there must be something wrong with that person.

 

This much is natural, but it seems that in this generation our society has taken this concept to absurd extremes.  Simple misunderstandings of diverse points of view have become breeding grounds for character judgments and demonization.

 

This progression has given birth to the phenomenon known as political correctness, in which people speak in code words with the purpose of not offending others, unless they feel offended themselves, in which case there is another set of code words with which they can label and demonize their opponents without taking the time to hear them out.

 

Anyone else see a disconnect here?

 

I may have found a way to disarm this bomb, however.  If we are speaking with integrity, that is, if we say exactly what we mean and mean exactly what we say, then in theory, we have eliminated the possibility for misunderstanding.

 

One problem with this theory however—people who speak in code also assume that you are doing it as well.  So rather than hearing what you say, which is exactly what you meant to say, much mental energy is wasted trying to figure out your hidden agenda, when you don’t even have one.

 

So I guess that in order to better understand each other, what we need are some clear definitions of the words we say and the thoughts and intentions behind them.  To this end, I have come up with my own variation of the equal sign: the DN= (Does Not Equal).  The purpose of DN= is to clarify the motives behind our words to be more thoroughly heard, and therefore, better understood.

 

To illustrate the DN= principle, let’s start with a word all Americans know–freedom.

 

(And that’s just what we’ll do, if you come back for DN= Part 2!)

 

Us and Them: Part 1–Election Season

 

Election years are a trying time for everybody, but I find them particularly painful.  As a Truthseeker, I am always looking to end arguments by finding the common ground. 

 

Unfortunately, our political process has no interest whatsoever in providing us with that.  Our two-party system virtually guarantees an us-vs.-them mindset.  This can only lead to two things:

 

 1.      Polarization, where everything the other side does is completely evil, so instead of promoting your own ideas, you waste time bashing your opponents by attacking them personally rather than their policies.

2.      When your polls start dropping from the mudslinging, and the public starts to sympathize with your opponent, then you let the pendulum swing back toward the middle and call yourself a “moderate.”  There may be such a thing as an actual moderate, but more often than not, it’s somebody that was once far right or left that has compromised his principles to curry favor with voters whose lives he cares little, if anything, about.

 

A tension that I struggle with all the time, but especially in election season, is the temptation to hate people who disagree with me politically.  The thing is, as a Truthseeker, I generally stay out of the political arena (where truth is seldom, if ever, found). 

 

However, it seems unavoidable in election season that whenever you voice a view, no matter how pure your intentions, whoever is on the receiving end of it is sure to put some kind of political spin on it.  Next thing you know, you’re in an argument.

 

As I have said before, a Truthseeker must never argue.  The minute that we are convinced that we are right and nothing can convince us otherwise, we cut ourselves off from receiving new information.  It could be that the one thing we don’t know is the one thing we need to know to lead us to the truth. 

 

Furthermore, if you become convinced that your limited knowledge is all that you need to know, you will resent anybody who is trying to educate you, because you will have the perception that he is “trying to push his views down your throat.”  Your emotional reaction will be one of hostility. 

 

What will happen next is that you will project your hostility toward that individual in that moment onto the view itself, and by extension, everyone else who holds that view.  That is how you make the election of creating a “them.” 

 

(What happens next? Come back for Part 2–Popping the Bubble)