Staking out a Third Way

ArrowsI have no formal education in Political Science beyond my 8th grade civics class so I’m very much an empty talking head but I’ll tell you what I know.

Labels, Rhetoric, and the DNC/RNC party’s bent toward whatever is politically expedient isn’t working out very well for this country.

So I dare propose we try something new: discussing ideas between real people and then working to get sensible people elected.

The premise is that we have now promoted political labels to the point of being an obstacle. There is much more that makes us common than makes us different.

Practically it looks like this:

1. Start Listening & Talking to people with different ideas than you.

Last year a group of friends that like to talk politics decided to take our conversations offline. We created a safe place of mutual respect and the craziest thing happened. We were no longer simply liberals and conservatives but we were Americans that disagreed on a great deal yet also discovered a vast common ground.

To be clear there are divisive issues that touch the core of our faith and emotions and many times we must agree to disagree. But due to the relationships and intentional respect I learned a great deal about how others see these issues. If we can suck the vehement rhetoric and posturing that normally accompanies these issues we might make real progress.

Lastly, you’ll realize that those wedge issues have little to do with foreign diplomacy, how we fund street repairs, ensuring quality education, reducing crime, or any hundred other practical functions of government.

Start by listening to voices you don’t naturally agree with. Don’t choose bombastic media outlets but find moderate sources that don’t automatically reinforce your perspective.

Labels & rhetoric are for those too unsure of their beliefs to think for themselves.

Listen long enough and you’ll be forced to thoughtfully reexamine what you believe. You’ll be better for it.

2. Look for the Right and Wrong in both the Left and the Right.

Tonight I praised an interview that President Obama gave the Atlantic on Iran and Israel.

 

My praise raised eyebrows because I’m a conservative and everything he says I should oppose. This current climate gets to the heart of the weakness of the current political party system.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) and Democratic National Committee (DNC) elevate themselves above all else. If someone is on our side we should stand with them and if they are on the opposing side we always oppose them.

To be clear there is much to be opposed but when we oppose it because of who said it we have missed the mark. Let’s return to the battle of ideas. Take a position because of what you believe and articulate why it makes for a better America.

That isn’t happening these days and the culprit is either:

  • Elected officials that have no conviction of ideas.
  • They are inept in making their case to the American public.
  • Few are concerned with anything other than re-election and party influence.

Voters choice, take your pick.

When you only listen to one-sided propaganda you will eventually accept it truth. Let us take a radical step of encouraging civil discourse amongst ourselves and we will inherently challenge the stranglehold that the 2 self-interested parties hold on American Politics.

My friend @kyranpittman said it best,

PS: Perhaps there is a glimmer of hope in AmericansElect.org