It’s election time here in the US and it tends to bring out the worst in people. It also highlights the extreme dysfunction of American civil discourse, or uncivil discourse as the case may be. Sadly, the media in this country has done an extremely good job at brainwashing Americans in to being at war with one another. Turning “patriotic” Americans into rabid dogs convinced their fellow Americans are out to get them. Fox news blames all the ills of the United States on government controlling, naive, and layabout “liberals”; while MSNBC blames all the ills of the United States on the greedy, mean-spirited, and corporate totalitarianism of the “conservatives”.
The election really brings out the hate and dogmatism in folks. Dripping, venomous, irrational HATE. Liberals over at the Daily Kos spew their sickening, bile filled venom, on Romney saying:
He is the epitome of suckage. He is suckitude incarnate. The man is a bad person and a shitty American, a lousy Governor, a sleazy businessman with little or no ethics, a cowardly bully, a thieving scumbag, and a compulsive liar with no shame. He has no ideas, he lies whenever it suits him, he thinks he’s entitled to take whatever he wants from other people, and he has personally destroyed parts of the American economy and thrown families into poverty to benefit himself. Patriotism, accountability, benevolent vision, and service to a cause greater than himself are completely alien to this singularly soulless viper of a pseudo-human being.
The attacks on the right tend to be more direct in the case of Obama. Full of ignorant fear, paranoia, and bigotry:
Both expressions clearly come from a level of infantile thought. Dichotomous thought.
One of the most profound insights that I gained from Druidism was their emphasis on Trinary Thought. It is a simple but profoundly liberating teaching that basically says, “When confronted with a black and white argument, immediately summon your discernment.” For me this leads to a place of compassion and liberated thought. Dichotomous thinking can lead to all sorts of pain and problems for both sides of the argument.
It is when we refuse to listen to one another that governmental and corporate power win. Mass mind control is really quite simple:
- Present a controversial issue, one that evokes emotion.
- Create two sides to the debate, and only two sides.
- Convince Democrats they are on one side and Republicans they are on the other.
- Make sure the debate is heated and portrayed in the most negative way possible.
- Sell lots of ads.
- Laugh all the way to the bank.
It has become a habit of mine around this time to make it very clear to people that if they want to talk politics with me that it must be with an open mind. It has been my experience that people are looking to either rant or preach; neither approach works, unless you are just looking to increase anger and fear.
I respect Druidism’s emphasis on trinary thinking. It has transformed the way I look at all sorts of arguments, but political arguments especially. I am so through with looking at Republicans as the “enemy” when my everyday experience of many of them is delightful. It is only when we start putting aside our dogmas that we will really be able to change the country for the better. Until then you are either screaming at walls or preaching to the choir.