Monday, March 29, 2010

"People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?"

Posted by Terry McNichols

Leona and I agree that this blog is not the right venue for deep political discussions.  The events of the past several weeks show how deep and wide the divisions in our country are at the present time around the issue of health care (as well as many other issues).  What concerns me, however, is the behavior of so many people on either side of the issue.   I am appalled at the tactics and statements coming from both sides of the debate.  The exaggerations of the dire consequences of accepting either point of view are a perfect example of the kinds of dichotomous thinking that is gridlocking our nation.  Try the simple test on this website.  

And then read my recent post on the topic at Tranquil Parent.  I was thinking of a different kind of relationship when I wrote the piece, but the ability to see the gray in a given situation, instead of resorting to black/white thinking is huge in the political situations in which we now find ourselves.   Here is another test to give yourself to see if you are a person who uses this type of distorted thinking.

The title of this post may be familiar to some of you; others may be too old to catch the importance of that quote.  Rodney King was the subject of police brutality in Los Angeles in 1991, caught on videotape by a man in a nearby apartment.  The acquittal of the policemen involved touched off the 1992 Los Angeles riots.  These riots resulted in 53 deaths, 2,383 injuries, more than 7,000 fires, damages to 3,100 businesses, and nearly $1 billion in financial losses  On the third day of the riots, King pleaded with the nation to "just, you know, get along!"

How much mayhem do we have ahead of us if we can't learn the simple lessons of how to agree to disagree, have meaningful, respectful discussions, and take the views of the other person into consideration as having equal validity to our own?  

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