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Section A: General News


Editorial: Don’t talk to me about subjects about which we disagree




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About politics and other things
April 25, 2012 | 1,380 views | 5 comments

It’s not polite to discuss politics or religion in mixed company -- or so we’ve been told.

That mindset, however, may be part of the problem that has led us to a society so set on political correctness that we are about to destroy the very foundation that our Founding Fathers worked so diligently to establish. Free speech is worthless if we must monitor it to the degree that all speech is milquetoast.

We should be focusing on politics and religion instead of which movie did the best in the box office or which sports team is ahead. None of that will be important a generation from now; our economy and our freedom will be.

A good political discussion can open doors, but not according to some, as a post on a friend’s Facebook page shows. My friend was incensed that someone had “dared” to send her a link to an article that expressed a political philosophy different from her own.

Her concluding statement read, “And she knew that I disagreed with the article. I can’t believe that she sent it to me.” I was glad that I was not the one who had sent it, but she, of course, could read my columns, which express a philosophy obviously not in agreement with hers. Unfortunately, some people are so convinced they are right that they wouldn’t read anything that did not reinforce their already-held beliefs.

Last week, I got a similar message from an acquaintance. I was aware that we disagreed politically but I enjoyed the back and forth; he apparently felt differently. His message read: “I am not a fan of the one-sided Republican propaganda that you are constantly pumping out, and I have said so before. Therefore, if you would be so kind as to remove me from your mailing list, I would greatly appreciate it.”

I’m sure many others share that sentiment, and they have reason to fear reading conservative thought, as my own political evolution shows.

In my early 20s, I was happy voting “straight” Democrat, as that was the way Texans voted back then. Truth to tell, however, the Democratic Party of John F. Kennedy was much closer to the Republicans of today than to the Democrats of today. Still, that doesn’t excuse my “pulling the lever” that said Democrat.

I devoured the writings of Mother Jones and Ralph Nader and followed the radical activist, Australian pediatrician Helen Caldicott. I was right there for the first Earth Day in the ’70s.

As I continued to read both sides, however, I eventually came to challenge what I had believed to be true. Interestingly, a recent Pew survey found that Republicans outscored Democrats by an average of 18 percentage points on eight of 13 political questions. Other recent surveys agree that Republicans are more open-minded. (Don’t yell at me! That’s what the surveys say.)

On the other hand, some liberals are willing to debate, discuss, and make logical arguments. Take Fred Owens, for instance. The former Wilson County News agriculture reporter unabashedly proclaims his support for Barack Obama. I doubt there is much we agree on politically, so I’m proud to say that we remain Facebook friends and friends in real life. Our conversations are sometimes heated, but always colorful.

Another liberal friend puts it this way: “I really believe that civil disagreement and compromise without rancor is possible, and desirable. ... Reasonable minds can disagree. It is a core belief, as close to me as Christianity.” I wholeheartedly agree!

If only there were more Freds in the world, the world would be a better place. Apparently among liberals, however, this is an exception rather than the norm.

As for me? You can keep your milquetoast; give me color.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
April 26, 2012 11:28am
 
I disagree with almost EVERYTHING that Obama has done, his ideas, his philosophy, his attitude. I believe Obama would have been ostricized and put to shame in days gone past. But, I have found out that if you dare to disagree ... More ›

 
4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
April 26, 2012 10:27am
 
Here's a shocking news flash "Alvin"...the left wing of the Democrat Party is SOCIALIST. If you see a black and white cow and you call it a Holstein, then you aren't being contradictory.

 
Alvin Charmaine  
April 26, 2012 8:16am
 
Publius your comment is a contradiction. You lump Democrats with Socialists as a way to demean someone with a differing point of view than yourself. You continue on by explaining that engaging in conversation that cannot ... More ›

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
April 25, 2012 1:36pm
 
I recently read that Winston Churchill said " If you are not a liberal by age 20, you have no heart. If you are not a conservative by age 40, you have no brain." My addition to the above is that if you are not a ... More ›

 
Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
April 25, 2012 1:08pm
 
The underlying fact is that most Democrat/Leftist/Socialist propaganda and speech is 15% truth and 85% fabrication. Therefore political correctness applies. Political correctness in it's pure form means pointing out the lie ... More ›

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