Written Friday, October 23
Here’s some wisdom from the band Gungor for you on this rainy, politically divided Friday morning:
Every black life matters
Every woman matters
Every soldier matters
All the unborn matter
Every gay life matters
Here’s to life in all its branches
What I wish anyone running for president would say at a debate. It’s not nuanced enough to exist as a political platform, but it sure would be a good place to start. If any of the candidates said this, I’d listen up. No matter the political party. I’d be willing to consider his/her other words instead of instantly writing him/her off. Because it’s balanced.
I can’t begin to list the utterly unbalanced statements the candidates have gone with instead. It would upset me too much. But there’s been a lot about what’s wrong with everyone else – everyone besides the candidates themselves. And “Americans.” Though the Americans the competitors (because this really is a game) are purportedly hoping to represent, to help, don’t seem to include all the Americans that disagree with them. I wish (I know, it’s naive, based on what should be instead of what is) that a person could actually run for office from a place of honesty, of self-sacrifice. With a willingness to listen well and give thoughtful responses, motivated by solving problems instead of earning higher poll ratings. And still get elected. And then maintain those same admirable traits without selling out to special interest groups. Alas.
In order for that to happen, we, the Americans, would have to give them room to have opinions that don’t entirely match up with all of our own. We’d have to read further than the headlines, listen past the soundbites, allow for unpolished responses to debate questions rather than empty statistics and rhetoric dished to candidates via headsets. We’d have to put our appetite for the politics show we, as a nation, gobble up so ravenously on a strict diet – of fact and calm discussion. Again, alas.
Since this seems daunting given our human faults of pride and general disdain for other, all I can find to do is play this song. Make it my own starting block for political opinion. I can think what I think deeply, but if I don’t start here, no one will listen to me. You can disagree with me deeply, but if you don’t start here – at every person matters, even the other – we’re sunk. We’ll get exactly nowhere, with fists up, ready to battle for our own opinions instead of contemplating another point of view.
Oh, to care less that I’m right than that I’m loving my neighbor.
Oh, that we would fire everyone running for president and start over.
Take notice, politicians. Try this new tack – start here and see what happens. You might just get my vote. And I bet I’m not alone.