I think I've done a fair job of keeping North American political discussions off my blog - I've tried to keep the focus on a roadmap of my endeavors as a self-publishing author, and I've left my personal views on things like religion, politics and society for my books. Especially due to the volume and tone of the current political climate in the United States, it's become increasingly tumultuous - downright violent, or getting fairly close to it.
Up to now, I've kept my statements to more of the sense of "hey, let's try and remember how human beings discuss things, and stop from becoming poop-throwing monkey heads" and avoid dipping into the topics of the debates themselves.
I do this for several reasons - mainly, no matter how smart you think your opinion may be, there's going to be at least one person out there who will try to skin you and wear your flesh as a suit because of it. But also because I find the majority of the debates going on more like the fights that break out in a game of hockey. Basically, they're entertaining as hell, but in the end you're not actually winning any points that way.
I've been asked my general political leaning (most people think I default to Democrat or Liberal, which is not the case) - - but when I tell them my position on the "political spectrum", there is much misconception, I find, in the reactions I receive.
See, I'd categorize myself as an Aggressive Moderate.
Yeah- - that look - the one you have on your face right now - that's what I'm talking about. A common misconception of "moderate" is that it's the big group of people who can't make up their mind, or that they're the ones most lacking in conviction. This cannot be further from the truth.
A general fallacy in modern politics is that there are two sides to each debate. On every news program, on most blogs and so forth, all political discourse invariably breaks down into a war of words between "us" and "them." It's like the old joke about putting a dozen people into a room. They usually only agree on one thing, and that's the one dude in the room that none of them can stand. And from that Ultimate Opposition, each camp splits the chasm wider and wider by trying to press the other camp into as small a defining space as they can.
Let me give you an example:
Abortion has been a hot debate for some time (and looks to be going for a revival), and the two most vocal groups define themselves as "Pro Life" and "Pro Choice". Just take a moment to look at those camp titles. On the surface, how could anyone truly oppose either one? We both support the idea of living, and we all like being able to choose - - - so why are they truly opposing camps? To understand that, look at the way they define each other. The "Pro Life" group looks at the Pro Choice people and implies that they are baby killers, people with loose morals and radical "I spit in the eyes of God" heathens - I heard someone call them "Terrorists" the other day. Meanwhile, the "Pro Choice" people point at the ProLifers and call them Nazis, Fascists, antiquated misogynists from the dark ages of social reform.
Now, honestly - there might just be some elements of truth on both sides, but - - - as an aggressive moderate, I suspect the Big Truth lies somewhere in the middle. Maybe you can have a love of human life and still demand the constitutional protection from being told what medical procedures you can or cannot have?
Gun control is also a funny debate (and "funny" I mean very serious but not handled particularly well), but maybe we can talk about that another time.
You see, that's not where the debate goes. No one wants to give an inch of ground, so the two groups dig in their heels and demand the other side's surrender. Neither group wants to try to meet in the middle, suspecting (potentially for good reason, but honestly, who knows?) that the other side will see their flexibility as weakness and go on the full offensive.
And I see this same situation play out across the board - constitutional law, budget debates, foreign policy, tax reform, religion, publishing (traditional versus self-publishing) and on and on and on.
My favorite analogy for this is how we need two eyes, two ears, two feet, and so on in order to exist as human beings - - at least, if we want depth perception, auditory directional sense, good balance and that sort of thing. The common human being was designed for balance - and while it's just fine that we as a nation have more than one general idea on how things ought to be done, the purpose of that duality is to find a means by which all our people can be cared for, so that the rising waters lift all boats.
We have to find ways to work together. This doesn't mean surrendering our ideals or our principles - it means finding the commonality between us that will allow us to work together for the goals we all share. Or, to quote Benjamin Franklin, we must all hang together, or we shall all hang separately.
THIS, I believe, is why the founding fathers of the United States of America urged a separation of "Church and State" - because we're never all going to completely agree on one; but we can at least try and come together on the other.
Let's change the narrative, everyone.