Recently, while I waited at a stop light, a motorist pulled up next to me and yelled into my open window, "YOUR CANDIDATE SUCKS!" He was responding to a bumper sticker my daughter had put on our car for the presidential candidate she supports. Did he think he was persuasive? Did he think I’d change my mind because he was yelling at me?
There seems to be a lot of yelling at each other lately.
People on both ends of the political spectrum are loudly making their opinions known on their Facebook pages, in their Twitter feeds, and even stopped in traffic. And they’re doing so without always checking the so-called facts that they’re espousing, or listening to what the other “side” has to say.
They are spurred on by partisans on both sides and by many in the media who demonize the other side in order to attract more followers, more contributions, higher ratings—entities whose goal is not to fix problems or to set facts straight, but to simply further their own interests.
All this anger and unwillingness to listen currently typical of the American public is also now typical in Congress. Gridlock and paralysis are the new norm as the members of Congress stick blindly to their party lines, rather than acting in the best interest of our nation.
Although this jarring political discourse isn’t civil, constructive, or even particularly informed, there is a potential upside to the mayhem we are living through.
It shows that the American people care again.
Not too long ago, the biggest problem with engaging the citizenry was apathy. Our challenge is no longer to try to wake the sleeping giant. Now our challenge is to convert the energy currently expended hurling epithets at the other side into an enthusiasm for fixing the problems being roared about.