Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The third rail

My family loves to discuss, debate, and dissect politics. The funny part is they are all on the same side of the aisle and ridiculously well-informed. Nothing is more amusing to me than watching a group of well-educated white males who have the same political ideology try to create an argument. Since they are all cut from the same conservative Republican cloth, they have to make up the other side's half of the argument just to make it interesting.

For the most part, I manage to stay out of these entertaining discussions. I try to stay informed about current events. I like to consider myself a fairly well informed citizen. But, let's face it. There is nothing of value I can contribute to those discussions. I can guarantee that my brother, a resident of Ohio, is better informed about your state's politics than you are (unless you happen to be governor of your fine state). I usually get my news online after the kids are in bed or from the TV at the gym while I'm running. Who am I kidding? If I really want to know what is happening in the the world, I can just called my Dad and get a full synopsis on just about any subject, except Charlie Sheen (and I couldn't care less about him). After staring at the TV for an hour, here is what I have discovered. First, Democrats and Republicans are never going to see eye to eye. Each side truly believes they are right and the other side is the root of all evil and the reason the country is in such dire straights. Second, these discussions lead nowhere. I have never met anyone who was actually swayed by another person's political position. Have you ever heard anyone say "oh my God, you are right and I'm wrong. Thanks for pointing that out and setting me straight.". No, that doesnt happen. People want to tell you their beliefs. They don't necessarily want to hear yours.

So, I will tell you what I believe, my captive audience. I believe you are entitled to your beliefs as long as you are well-informed and know why you believe what you believe. But, as my dad says, you are not entitled to your own facts.

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