In Pursuit of a Civil Pursuit of Truth

Is it just me, or does it seem like political discord is at an all-time high? Even after the election last fall, after most of us vowed to forget it and move on with our lives, we can’t seem to stop arguing and bickering. Pointing fingers of blame at our political opponents, and in a passive-aggressive way, at our friends, family and others who support those politicians or their political party.

But I think we may be able to move past this, and probably not in the way you think I’m going to say. Because here’s the thing: it’s OK to disagree. It’s OK to debate. It helps us learn more about those we disagree with, their positions, our own positions and the issues we’re discussing. I don’t believe you should simply not talk about politics or controversial issues. But the key is that we have to get past the disrespecting and maligning of those with whom we disagree. The election of 2016 perhaps helped me understand this in a more real way. Because there are people I know, love and respect who hold to positions I could not agree with less. I think they are good people, who want good things, despite believing what I see as antithetical to what they say they desire.

If you disagree with me, I am so thankful that you are reading this, and that you would consider my point of view. Because I have been reading and listening to yours, and it helps me understand better what you believe and what has led you to the conclusions you have made.

Here’s another key point: I believe we almost all ultimately desire the truth. If we don’t, then there really is no reason to have a rational discussion. But if the truth is what we want, then we should desire to seek it out, and have the courage to engage in honest discussion to help us get there. Because, as fallible human beings, we may not have arrived at the truth, no matter how much we say we want it.

But we have to stop disrespecting and dismissing those who don’t agree with us. To say that those who see it a different way want dirty water and starving children, or communism and the destruction of the country doesn’t help anyone. It’s also not true. Our friends from the opposite political side likely want a lot of the same things we want. It may be, though, that the positions they hold and those they support will not take us there. It may be that they have been deceived by those they are listening to. And there’s where learning needs to take place.

That’s really what this blog is all about: to help contribute to finding the truth. I’m not here to malign anyone or to be combative. I write to use what I know to logically, rationally and respectfully persuade. It does no one any good to yell and scream, and make outlandish accusations. Even if you are right, you will not win anyone to your position.

So know that I respect you if you don’t agree with me. And I will do my best to present my point of view in a way that you can at least understand and consider, even if you decide to reject it. Let’s continue to pursue the truth together, even if, and especially if we don’t agree.