A fellow blogger offered an interesting prompt:
Oddly enough, the recent election has me disappointed but not as angry as the last one. At least I don’t feel like the election was blatantly stolen like last time, with bush losing majority and winning electoral solely riding the supreme court. While there are concerns about voting machine accuracy, I do feel that Americans (by a sliver majority) want what we got on Nov 2nd. Now to figure out how to get across that rift of understanding.
Here’s how I responded:
Here’s a radical idea: a book or article swap. We all have at least one intelligent, respectful (albeit obviously misguided) Republican friend, right? How ’bout every week, we send them three thoughtful, non-rabid articles on interesting issues (global warming, healthcare reform), and they agree to do the same… likely from our respective liberal/conservative perspectives.
That way… perhaps we can convert over some Republicans and/or at least understand their point of view 🙂
Most importantly, though, we gotta get out of our coccoon, stop preaching to the choir (sorry for the mixed metaphors here!) One of the things I’ve been most disappointed by with my fellow Democrats is our seeming inability to communicate and persuade effectively overall. We hold protests that aggrevate and piss off our neighbors instead of winning them over. We chant stupid slogans instead of writing thoughtful, balanced letters to the editor. We preach tolerance, but shout down conservative speakers on campus.
I’m proud to be a liberal, but I’m not proud of the behavior of liberal anarchists, the rabble rousers. There’s a difference between the elegant civil disobedience of Rosa Parks, and the crass harrassment and insulting of those who disagree with us.
We can’t and shouldn’t roll over and play dead to the religious right or the dangerous hawks. But we need to communicate with our neighbors in a more thoughtful and less confrontational way. We need to act like adults, and not spoiled college kids. We can be hippies, but we’ve gotta be hippies in business suits who quote economic statistics instead of chanting anti-Starbucks slogans.