Right now we have a huge communication problem going on in America, and it’s preventing us from having genuine discussions.
In the attempt to avoid sounding preachy, I must state that this is not a condemnation of anyone other than those unwilling to think critically.
Without getting into broad cultural critiques, we can simply stick to politics, and what role government should play in all of our lives. Specifically, the issue of wealth, poverty, and taxation.
ALL FOR ONE, ONE FOR ALL
“Love your neighbor” is so cliche, but it’s something most of us try to do, or at least portray. The issue for many is how we go about doing that.
How do we assist those in need, whether it be the poor, the unemployed, the old, or the disabled?
For many the answer is simple: have the government fill the role of caretaker. From an early age we are told the government is made up of “we the people”, therefore it makes sense to think that “we the people” would be taken care of. After all, what else do our taxes pay for(that’s for later)?
There’s a mentality many share that those who have more are obligated to do more. This isn’t a principle exclusive to a political affiliation. Many religions share this same sentiment.
The Bible, for example, is full of examples of generosity meant to teach followers about freely giving to others. The concept of giving a percentage isn’t exclusive to government either. “Tithing”, or the giving of 10% of what one has, is a common practice many Christians share.
The idea that a percentage of one’s wealth should help the greater good, as you can see, is something many people share. Unfortunately, we often times allow political hostility to get in the way of finding common ground (personally I feel we shouldn’t be forced to give anything, as we should feel the obligation to do so).
PICKING SIDES ONLY DIVIDES
On the one hand, there are folks who feel that the establishments of both religion and government are unnecessary, intrusive, or simply inefficient. These people get upset when others tell them how to think, or what to believe.
On the other hand, you have people who genuinely believe that the government, or the church, should take care of people. These people get upset when they are told by the first group that they don’t believe in their institutions.
Unless we are slow to anger, we rarely get anywhere when it comes to having a genuine discussion about what we believe, and why.
These days it’s easy to find an individual whose identity is rooted in their politics. When their identity, whether liberal, conservative, republican, or democrat, is threatened, they generally become hostile. How can you blame them? Much of who they are comes from their political/religious ideology. An attack on what they believe (or don’t believe) is, in their mind, a direct attack on them.
BACK TO THE POINT…
Getting back to “helping the greater good”. Most people agree we should all participate in it, but it’s a matter of how. Do we expect the government to educate the youth, or is private education the way to go? Are state run health services more efficient than those of the private sector?
With all of the hysteria surrounding the police forces of America, would it make sense to use private security?
Instead of telling you what to think, you should simply start asking your own questions, and come to your own conclusions. When you know what you believe, and why, there’s no need to get upset when someone doesn’t agree.
We need to start coming together, America. We have a lot more in common than we think. There’s no need to let political affiliation cause a division. Who we vote for shouldn’t matter when communicating with each other. Just talk it out!
God Bless America