It seems that – for the most part – political dialogue in America has deteriorated from discussion and debate to, name calling, catfights and one-uppance contests, with everybody more intent on having the last word, than proving a point.
We – and I include myself in this group of verbal hyperbolics – instead of responding to some slight of someone on our side with a sensible reason why the accusation is untrue or unfair, allow our dander to rise, and we come up with some overinflated criticism of something their fair-haired boy, or girl, has done, or said. They respond in kind, and the incendiary battle is joined, waxing more caustic, more unproductive and ridiculous in the process.
Then there are those, and there are many, who don’t even try to be feasible. They simply jump to the name calling, telling you what a fool, or worse, you are for believing the way you do, without giving any reason whatsoever for what they are so profusely, and profanely declaring.
Any attempt at engaging such a person with facts, explanations or reason is met with an ever-increasingly nasty barrage of four-letter words and, at least I have found, a total waste of time.
Then there are the “buzzword” people, the ones who grab a line from a newscast or a partisan online column and repeat it as if it were carved in stone on Mount Rushmore, even though the validity of what they are repeating is totally unsubstantiated.
Just because Hillary Clinton came out of the Benghazi hearings, relatively unscathed, there are those who view this as the ultimate proof of her innocence, even though four American citizens died without the lifting of a finger to send help.
The truth of the matter is that Hillary Clinton was the wrong one to question. Actually, high ranking military commanders should have been put under oath and asked why they didn’t respond and where the order not to respond came from.
The military people would never come forth on their own, considering it a breach of decorum, but if subpoenaed, they would never even dream of lying under oath and by simply tracing the thread through the ranks the truth could have been arrived at.
But try telling that to one of Hillary’s zealous defenders and you’re more than likely to have your lineage severely questioned, accused of being a Neanderthal, redneck with a misogynistic ax to grind.
Actually, I’ll admit the redneck part. The misogyny, however, is totally untrue. But I do have an ax to grind, and that being, after talking to people who were actually on the scene and folks familiar with military logistics and capabilities, I know in my heart that in 13 hours’ time, all kinds of military response could have been mounted.
I guess I’m just a voice crying in the wilderness, but whatever opinion you may have of my hypothesis, I have a right to be heard, as do those who disagree with me. And neither one of us are going to accomplish anything by calling each other idiots.
I think one reason for the extreme reticence is that there are those who really don’t want to know the truth if it goes against their persuasions. They’d rather continue believing a lie rather than see one of their heroes or cherished convictions destroyed.
Just because people have different opinions about the problems our nation faces, and the means and the leaders we need to solve them, doesn’t mean that we can’t get along with each other.
I have longtime employees who believe differently and vote differently than I do, and while I disagree with their philosophy, they are my brothers and sisters. And I love and respect each and every one of them and count them among some of my best friends.
Alan Colmes was about as liberal as they come, and while we could find very little political common ground to stand on together, Alan respected my positions, I respected his and we always had a lot of fun together on TV and on his radio show.
My whole point here is that we can – and should – stand by our deeply held beliefs. We can – and should – try to pick holes in the other side’s views, if we feel differently and be dogged about defending our own.
It’s just that, starting out any discussion by name-calling, hyperbole and nasty language immediately puts the other person on the defensive, motivating them to respond in kind, and all you’re apt to end up with is a cussing match and absolutely nothing constructive gets accomplished.
I am not pointing fingers, as I have been guilty of a toxic gilding of the lily and responding with more heat than any civilized conversation can handle.
When the battle lines are drawn by ideology, the heated rhetoric fanned by an agenda-driven media, and human nature being what it is, it’s hard not to fly off the handle, to start with a prejudiced view of the other person’s opinion, with a preconceived attitude toward the other person and their point.
But can we not just let our differences be settled by courteous dialogue? We might actually learn something about each other. And goodness knows we need to.
The odds are too high to let temper and implacability take over.
Time to cool down.
We need to talk.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.