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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Polarization: Conversation That Goes Nowhere

It's a human instinct to polarize. There must be something about the way our brains work that propels us to place ideas, events, and opinions into a two or more groups to compare.

Typically though, polarization leads to conversation that goes nowhere--conversation that masks the reality of life.

We see this clearly with the current political speak with countless references to whole groups of democrats, liberals, conservatives, and republicans. Yet every individual knows there is great diversity and overlap amongst and between the groups. While we stay mired in polarization, we make little progress.

It is a better idea to focus on the issues, process, and policy. What really matters to the people of the United States? What process will help us to find that out, focus, and achieve good results? What policies will we craft, support, and live by in order to satisfy and develop our country?

In many ways, the election speak took us away from issues, process, and policy. Instead much of the election talk was polarizing, name calling, and the exchange of singular stories that serves to demean candidates and those that support them. We didn't really have a deep, rich national conversation about what really matters and how we will achieve good results and betterment. The national speak was diminished and petty instead of rich and forward moving.

As I write, I will make a vow to do the following:

  • Not identify Americans as large polarizing groups, but instead focus on the issues that matter to me, issues that forward the essence of our democracy with a goal of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" for all. 
  • Ally with groups that have good leadership and honest, positive aims. 
  • Research, read, analyze and reflect on information from lots of people to get both broad and detailed information and perspectives about issues. 
  • Use respectful, people-first speak and process.
I want to support Americans who want the best for each other no matter what their affiliations are--I want to look to their hearts and minds as I seek leadership amongst a diverse populous--leadership that looks through the eyes of children as they make decisions and determine policy, policy that reflects the best of whom we can be today and the best of what we can leave for our children and grandchildren tomorrow.

Do you agree?