Politics – At the Core

Political discussion in this country has become a minefield.  People who used to be friends are finding themselves separated by chasms that seem insurmountable.  Our two political parties seem unable to find compromises on anything.  And the daily news, especially right now, with the children at the border, continues to get worse.  Like everyone else, I have opinions.  Mine are grounded in what I believe are good morals, ethics, facts and law.  I express them as truth and I make no apologies for that.  But.

First and foremost, we are all human.  We disagree, but underneath, we are still one.  Although I disagree, vehemently in some cases, with the opposing viewpoint, with a few exceptions, I know that the other side isn’t evil.  Even those we now view as evil rarely see themselves as such.

As humans, we frequently view an issue as having two sides.  For better or worse, we then divide ourselves into two camps, but the problem is that there are many issues and few cases in which the people in one group agree on everything.

Looking at the various political issues that we generally view as “important” when it comes to political discussions and voting, the two general principles that people use to determine what their beliefs are on a specific issue.  Please note:  what follows is MASSIVE generalization; people’s consideration is much more complex than this.

The first is that people tend to divide up the world into “Us” and “Them”.  In and of itself, this isn’t a bad thing; sometimes, a situation does have two different sides.  The issue is in how large the “Us” group is and how large the “Them” group is.  The larger the “Us” group is, the more an individual believes in the positives of diversity, of identity politics, in seeing the citizens of other nations in a positive light.  The larger the “Them” group is, the more an individual doesn’t see discrimination, the more they are angered by identity politics, by being asked to understand those who are different from them, the more they see those of other nations in a negative light.  To me, we are best off in keeping the “Us” group large, comprising the entire human race.  We are best keeping the “Them” group small, and only applying it at all to specific situations.  First and foremost, we are all human.

The second principle is that of predestination, although it is usually known as the “Protestant Work Ethic”.  Basically, it means that many people believe that what happens to other people was brought upon themselves.  One common way in which this manifests itself is when people argue against welfare because they believe that most of those receiving it are lazy and are just scamming the system.  If shown an individual case, especially of someone they know, and they’ll agree that it was just bad luck and that they need the help, but they don’t generalize it to most of those in need.  In addition, they express the belief that it is better that no one be given assistance that doesn’t need it, even if that means that some who do need it won’t get it.

I don’t believe in predestination, I do believe that most people want to be independent, and I think that a safety net for those who need it is essential.  I think that “Us” means all of humanity and that “Them” is an occasionally useful, temporary description.  Over all, in no particular order, I’m a liberal, a Democrat, a Christian, a middle-aged wife and mother, full-time employed, an American … and a member of the human race.  Come join me.

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