Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Divided Nation

I love politics. I love being educated about issues in our country and trying to find the best solution for the problems that we face. I love our Founding Fathers and I appreciate their sacrifices made on our behalf.

And... I hate politics. I hate how politicians make promises while on the campaign but then get into office and do whatever it takes to stay in office, instead of keeping their word. I hate how every issue seems to break down party lines. Actually I hate the party system. I agree with our first president George Washington when he warned against them saying, "It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration... agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one... against the other... it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption... thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another." (For the full text visit ).

My beliefs are not contained within one party, though I'll admit I lean Republican, I wouldn't call myself one. I am conservative. I love the constitution. I love this country. I love my religion and my freedom to practice it. Most of all I feel that I am tolerant (no that does not contradict my religiousness). I understand that what I believe might be different than what others do. I might disagree with something that you do, but I wouldn't dislike you because of it unless it was something that hurt me or my family. I try to keep my discussions respectful and mature. I try to listen to the other side. But even I walk on eggshells, or maybe broken glass, as I try to engage in debate and discussion, since every issue is explosive and often hurtful.

So what is going on in the country today? A line has been drawn and everyone seems to be picking a side (myself included). Why is every issue argued until we hate each other a little more? Why is there no issue that the whole of America can agree on? Ok, that's asking a lot, let me rephrase: why is there no issue that we can discuss, vote on, and live with the outcome even if we lose? There is no finding the best solution- there is only 'MY' solution.

Has it always been this way and I'm just too young to remember, or has it in fact erupted as I have reached adulthood? Is this the new 1969? Or the new 1861? Are we so different that it will take civil war or a complete divide of the country to resolve the issues? Honestly I don't see it getting better. Both sides are entrenched in their ideas, and the rest are too apathetic to care. No one is backing down anytime soon. Looking at the cycles of history, I fear that violence is not far away.

Open and free debate is good- but when antagonism overrules tolerance and no verdict can be reached, doesn't it just become a heated, unresolvable argument?


Kimberly Smith said...

Love the post!! Your title is perfect.

Mamma Sass said...

While we're both very different politically and religiously, I agree with you.

"My" way isn't necessarily "your" way, and we need to be able to respect (and sometimes admire) the differences we have.

I'm curious (but won't press) about which particular issue out there in the world brought this up. I figure so many people shy away from politics because it gets heated, but I guess so long as you're friends at the end of the day, it's all good.

(And now you know I read your blog.)

Shawna said...

Danielle- It's actually not just one issue, but a culmanation of the last 4 years of bickering. I have opinions on all the issues, some more passionate than others, but usually I can see where the other side is coming from, even if I don't agree. My blog wasn't so much about one particular issue but that people no longer seem to be able to see the good on the side- and that no consensus seems to be possible.

And I do usually shy away from blogging politics becuase from what I've seen on fb, it usually just ends in name calling and attacks. I wish that we could find common ground and work from there. I'm afraid that the common ground is shrinking fast though.

Shawna said...

Oh, and thanks for reading :)

Katz said...

i love this post.

Destiny said...

Well said. Sometimes it scares me how hostile it becomes.

Jen said...

I'm actually a proponent of the two party system, despite the fact that my own views don't split down party lines and sometimes the relationship between the two are rather toxic. Hugh B. Brown also spoke in favor of the two party system and I find his reasons compelling.

George Washington wasn't alone; many of his contemporaries also felt that parties were dangerous, but many were also heatedly opposed to democracy, so go figure.

Though I may not always agree with your viewpoints, I think it's great that you feel comfortable enough to share them, especially in a space that is "yours". Good for you!

Debbie's said...

Right on, Shawna! Maybe we should dissolve all current government processes and adopt the "Wet Noddle System"... Everyone gets a wet noodle and is free to slap anyone who opposes them.. may the slapping continue until we're all knocked silly and agree to surrender... to what exactly, I'm not sure.
Love you!!