I like to believe in civility even in the face of talking heads. With all the rhetoric and ugly discourse happening in the world around us, where do you turn to have a civil discussion even with those who do not agree with you?
I find it harder to find middle ground now, which results in me isolating myself again and again.
Can't people be open to everyone? Can't we be patient even when it drives us crazy? Can we admit we might be wrong if we are?
I find all of this to be a challenge. But I am working on my short falls.
How about you? Are you someone who is right all the time even when you are wrong? Can you have a discussion with someone who doesn't agree with you without resorting to anger or name calling?
How can we come back to civil discourse?
Dunno. I'm willing to debate with most folks, but I draw the line at those who want me dead. It wasn't very long ago that this country started seeing the LGBT community as human beings, and there are far too many who want to reverse that. So, sorry, not going to try any 'civil discourse' with Nazis, alt-right, etc. They don't deserve it. They made entirely the wrong choices.
I've also been mulling this over a lot lately. You know how you've heard over the years (at least I have) that at certain gatherings we should avoid two particular subjects; religion and politics? It seems that now, those are about all anyone wants to discuss, if one takes a cue from the media. And, it seems, as you have alluded to, that such discussions almost inevitably become acrimonious and contentious. It makes me not even want to be around people in a social setting whom I do not know well, unless it would happen to be a setting where I could be relatively comfortable that the majority of us held similar views.
Yes, there are a million other things to converse about at a party, family gathering, or other social setting; but now it feels like a cloud is hanging over, and ready to dump partisan raindrops over the scene all too frequently.
Like you, it makes me think I either just need to stay away from those scenarios, or to make sure I know where all the exits are when the storm hits. And to top it off, one sees and hears so many remienders everyday of the divisiveness: TV news, bumper and window stickers, jacked up 4X4 trucks with flags streaming behind, t-shirts, etc., etc.
With the extreme divisiveness, some are left feeling they might be ‘extremely wrong,’ so they’ll more often come at you in a more aggressive manner than I’ve experienced in life.. Their attitude appears to be ‘a strong offence is the best defense.’ And as much as others would like to discuss the topic, the oxygen's been sucked from the room and fear seems to prevail…
What I’ve also witnessed is how some can only parrot what they’ve been exposed to from a one-sided news source; having never understood or been exposed to both sides of an issue, they’re (again) left in a defensive posture, lacking the capability to either understand or change ‘their opinion.’
Such indoctrination resides on ‘both sides,’ or extreme’s.. But the extreme I’m closest to can at least understand, and appears far more willing to change their minds than the other extreme… And with that other extreme apparently willing to pull their concealed weapon (as you’re obviously a threat to our Constitution) - end the argument then & there!
Civil discourse requires educational and emotional parody. If every discussion must start with US History or Politics 101, it can’t be done.. There was a day when the poorly educated knew it, and the educated looked out for them. Now, cultivated by the powers that be, while assuming a majority that isn’t, they’ve become emboldened, assuming their single source of ‘answers’ are the only answers out there … very much akin to the religious ignorance of reality ..and often the same people.
I’ve watched many ‘populist politicians’ do their best to relate to, or gently inform the less educated. You can watch the audience drop off ..as the words become too confusing, the issues too complex, or a vague feeling of being tricked washes over them.. I’ve also noted various populists totally agree with them on one subject, but unless in the closed minds it’s absolute agreement on every issue, they’re not about to give an inch…
Sorry for my lengthy attempts at ‘answers,’ I’m groping some myself.. I feel well versed in what hasn’t worked, somewhat confident about what needs doing … but beyond disappointed over my nation’s inability to stay a course to security, stability and prosperity
Civil discourse flourishes for as long as 2 parties agree to disagree. ...but often such words are betrayed soon out of sight or earshot. ....cult radio liars like Slamity or LimpBOSS agree long enough to tape record your voice a sentence or two then hang up on all of us claiming a handful of liberal voices repudiate all the great majority WHO DID NOT VOTE FOR TrumpOLINI. ....MILLIONS OF US VOTED GREEN, LIBERTARIAN, Socialists and write ins refusing the Billary TrumpOLINI duopoly scam. ...no single "conservative" will ever admit all people cannot become rich nor get equal food and healthcare. ...Greens know WE CAN ALL HAVE PEACE THROUGH GREEN JOBS UNDER THE CURRENT BUDGET REprogramming the NATO&corrupt war appropriations
We need to develop tolerance, that not everyone is going to be a clone of us and think like we do. We need to be open minded and truly believe we can learn something from everyone. We need to acknowledge that we are the be all and end all, we are still work in progress, and this is a very good thing. And we need to be slower to cry, and yell, and scream. We need to learn some diplomacy. And we need to teach our kids these same lessons. We used to live in a society that was slower to take offense. Where did that go?