Talking Past Each Other (or partisan rhetoric explained)

so the past couple of days, in wake of the Republican National Convention, I’ve had some great discussions with family, friends, and fiancees. Our talks have revolved around partisan politics and the things we like and don’t like about each party’s platform.

last night, in the midst of some solid dialogue, my fiance and I realized something. We were both speaking out of our own experience. I held certain views because of the context I grew up in and she held certain views because of the context she grew up in. After we acknowledged where we came from (me from a “republican-only-cuz-republicans-equal-christian” family) we were able to talk about issues and acknowledge why we might feel certain ways about different issues (welfare, gay rights, etc.)

the point is that, in reality, we agree on a lot. A whole lot. But we emphasize different things because of our experience. Those who live in the inner-city tend to emphasize (and vote) a lot differently than those in rural areas. Why? Because their experiences are completely different. Once I started getting to know several homosexuals (along with an experience with Emmaus Ministreis) my view on the rights of homosexuals as Americans dramatically changed.

that being said, we must realize that, in politics (and probably many things) we tend to talk from our own experience. we must begin to listen to the situation of the other and acknowledge where they are coming from.

i think this would lead to a dramatic decrease in labeling people as “conservative” or “liberal” or “republican” or “evangelical” or “those crazy people in california” or “those narrow-minded texans.”

(my apologies to those in cali and texas)


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