The divide in America is deepening. A continued sluggish economy, high unemployment, a divisive media, more access to information, a black President, a growing sense of bitterness in those on the far extremes, are just some of the reasons and indications. The audience behavior at the Republicans debates is both indicative of the growing divide and should be a source of great concern to all of us.
In last night's debate, the audience booed a video of a gay soldier serving in Iraq who has 'come out' after repeal of DADT. In the California debate at the Reagan Library, the audience applauded mention of the high number of executions in Texas and Rick Perry's support of the death penalty. In the Tampa, CNN-Tea Party Express debate, the audience cheered to idea of letting a 30-year old uninsured man die without care. Videos of all of those are available on Youtube.
I do not think we can solve the economic problems of America until we are better able to sit down around the table of humanity and respect our differences. I am strongly on the opposite side of those Republican audiences on the three issues mentioned above (and I feel repulsed by the audience response). Even so, it is value of mine to try and respect the attitude, values, opinions, and beliefs of others. But as extreme and vehement as these Republicans positions are, it would make it difficult for me to negotiate in good faith around economic issues with these people. I know that is likely the case in Congress.
The answer evades me. I hate to sound 'old', but I have never seen it like this. I suggest both sides do intense self-examination, but that Republicans, in particular, look to their inner being, to their core, to "the better angels of their nature", to higher level instincts. I suggest they not build their arguments, priorities, and passions around the issue of money and economics. Those material and financial solutions will follow a deeper commitment to higher level human and spiritual principles.
There's a great Navajo proverb which says: "We're living in the middle of 7 generations, three behind us (parents, grandparents, great grandparents), and three ahead of us (children, grandchildren, great grandchildren). Everything we do should be measured against ,'will it honor the ancestors', and, 'will it serve the children'." Please, let's wake up as a human family.
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