Thursday, August 11, 2011

Discordant Discourse

Something horrible has happened to the United States of America. No, it’s not climate change, although that is horrible. No, it’s not the economy, although that too is horrible.
What I’m talking about is the discordant discourse amongst our representatives and our citizens. Everyone seems to think they are right and everyone else is wrong and never the twain shall meet.

I don’t watch C-SPAN so don’t have first hand knowledge of what goes on in the Senate or House of Representatives, but it seems as though the debates that went on during the debt ceiling legislation were nothing but one-sided monologues touting each persons convictions with no chance of convincing the other to compromise. I don’t think any of our representatives actually listen to each others arguments. Everyone is convinced that they are right in their beliefs and no amount of discussion can change that. And it seems as though this is the norm in all debates in our great halls of legislation.

I will be the first to admit that I am guilty as charged on a number of subjects. For example, I KNOW that the climate is changing in a drastic way due to human greed; and I KNOW that the economy is in the dumps due to corporate greed. What I don’t know is how to make the changes that will truly solve these and other issues. Oh, I have my own ideas on how to fix these problems but I am open to new ones...

...too many people are not.

The Tea Party, for instance, is not open to any idea but their own. Their rallies are filled with hatred for President Obama and near-overt racism. The anger that emanates from those people is truly troublesome. One of my neighbors aligns themselves with the Tea Party and they are good neighbors and good people. I wonder how they would react in a group of like-minded Tea Partiers?

My representative, Steve Womack, will be having a town hall style meeting in a few weeks and I was thinking of attending the event. An article in my local newspaper has convinced me that it would be a waste of time as Mr. Womack has his mind made up and apparently doesn’t even listen to his constituents who disagree. Case in point...
Mr. Womack claimed that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009  produced no job growth. A constituent challenged him on that statement with the fact presented that the stimulus produced 3 million jobs. Did Representative Womack even listen to that ? No, he ignored the man and moved on to the next question. This is not discourse, this is demagoguery and I'm sick of it.

Are you as tired of this kind of combative conversation as I am? Please, give me some ideas of what we can do to make a difference in this discord of our discourse.