Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Don't Be Afraid To Say What You Really Think...

I subscribe to both the New York Times and the Huffington Post on my Facebook account, and gosh they are a lively bunch over at those two sites. They've got everything going on, and it's wonderful.  News, opinions, controversy, debate -- you name it, they've got it.  At the click of the mouse, you can find out anything that is going on in the world, but best of all, you can read everyone else's opinions.  There are no holds barred.

The Internet has changed the way news, ideas, opinions, and so much more is discussed.  And as with most issues in life there is no right or wrong, no black or white, just varying shades of grey, depending on whom you are.  But one thing I have noticed is that, with our wonderful neighbours to the south, almost every issue has become split down party lines -- Democratic or Republican.  Everything becomes politicized.  How did that happen?  Rather than discussing a topic on the merits, people quickly square off into their political parties -- and that's it.  All of a sudden something that may be a humanitarian issue, or medical, or scientific -- or whatever -- becomes political.  And then people are afraid to say what they think for fear of being called "ignorant" or "biased".  The political leaders grab hold of an issue, the talking heads on TV start shouting at each other, and any intelligent debate or discussion goes out the window.  Chris Hayes, who was guest hosting the Rachel Maddow show last night, listened to an argument about a particular issue -- with which he did not agree -- and then he said. "I just threw up in my mouth."  Oh, goodness.

There is a certain "hot button" topic being discussed at the moment (which I will not mention here...) that seems to have enraged everyone.  It's very interesting, and very sensitive, to be sure.  The President endorsed the issue, and then he backtracked.  I thought that was the most intelligent thing he had done yet, not that he had backtracked, but that he had actually given some thought to something that is extremely controversial, and he thought for himself rather than "along party lines".  He listened to the concerns of other folks.

Political correctness is not necessarily a bad thing.  Folks have come a long way in the past few decades, and things that were acceptable 20 or 30 years ago would make people blush with shame now.  That's a good thing.  And it's because of lively debate and conversation that people are able to exchange ideas and arrive at a conclusion that is acceptable to the majority.  People should never be afraid to say what they think -- even if their viewpoint is unpopular, or perhaps not currently politically correct.

The fact that anyone can log on to The New York Times, The Huffington Post, or thousands of other newspapers and magazines, and share their opinions about current issues is just amazing.  And whether folks agree with each other -- or not -- we all end up with a say about what kind of a world we want to live in, as long as we think for ourselves, and not along "party lines".


Kathryn said...

Well, i think we just have new things to blush over these days. Every generation seems to have them.

I suppose "no holds barred" comments are interesting, but i most often find them rude. I don't read many of these things myself, but i know a couple of people who have written articles for various popular posts. What i often find astounding is the anger, the lack of empathy, even rage & much vitriol in the comments. It seems for some folks that one person stating their opinion/preference makes them feel that the person is criticizing their choices & they have to fight.

Party lines do divide folks. There are so many other issues that do as well. It seems that many people thse days feel that their __________ (politics, religion, beliefs, choices, jobs, you name it) are on the line & they have to fight to keep things safe - & rigid.

Single and Sane said...

I woke up this morning feeling that it's time to say what I think about the issue at hand, but I didn't have time to write a post. I'm planning to get to it tonight though.

I'm thinking I may have fewer followers tomorrow. ;-)


Indian Pundit said...

The Huffington Post is America's best news website.
I specially love their World Section.
No blind propaganda.
Covers all side of the story.

No blind support of US policy.
In depth analysis of every international issue from all sides.

As far as new york times is concerned...it is what you call "Establishment Left" of USA.
Less said the better.

jennifer black said...

I so agree with how much access we have to information and opinions today. That's great.

I also wish we weren't so polarized. Because I identify as a Democrat, it's assumed that I hold a host of beliefs that I may or may not subscribe to. I'm conservative in that I would frankly like to bring back the under in underwear, for example, but because I also think the marriage choices of legal, consenting adults is none of my business, I am assumed to be a flaming liberal.

Surely there's a place for being in both camps, at different times, without being undercover, eh? Maybe even at once.

Seeing from both positions has value, I think. Understanding the Other can lead to greater understanding of the self.

Ok, now we'll all lock arms and sing Kumbaya ...


Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

I am agreement with anyone speaking their minds and sharing their point of view. That's what freedom of speech is all about. I cannot condone the language and rudeness some feel they must use to do so.

I realize that there are issues that heat up the different parties but can't one express their opinion without hurting others in the process. Just sayin'..........

Ya'll have a terrifically blessed day and please be kind! :o)

DJan said...

It's interesting, that subject you didn't mention, seems to me to be a real non-issue. But these days anything, anything at all, is pounced upon by the MSM and heated opinions on both sides are shouted at us. I think this little masterpiece by Jon Stewart actually says it all: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/17/stewart-rips-fox-news-for_1_n_684467.html

I read Huffington Post and the NY Times on line as part of my daily news when I first wake up and start my day. I don't get onto FB every day.

DUTA said...

You've noticed correctly, and this democratic/republican split is not obvious only in newspapers but also in many blogs.

How did it happen? you ask. It's when did it happen. It happened during and after the last presidential elections. In my humble opinion this deep split is going to lead to violence. It looks inevitable.

TC said...

My feeling is that DUTA is correct but I hope I am wrong. I was a teenager when Nixon left office, I actually felt sorry for the man, talk about an unpopular viewpoint!! So I'm no stranger to unpopular viewpoints but this new left/right chasm seems to be worse than ever before and getting wider every day.

Mia said...

The internet takes away that space of time between knee-jerk reaction and thoughtful consideration. It's also largely anonymous so people can be the dicks they'd think twice about being offline.

American politics became ultradivisive once that fascist Bush became president. Unless you're republican. Then it was once that communist Obama became president.

You'll never see a Lincoln-Douglas debate in youtube comments.

Charlene said...

The agressive hate filled language I see seemingly evereywhere is shocking to me. I have friends and clients, even family who are not marching in lockstep with me politicallly and somehow, because of mutual respect, we are able to have conversations where one does not demean or ridicule another.