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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Agreeing to disagree

I was thinking last night about the nature of political discourse in our country. While many talk about the widening divide in our country, I disagree partially with that statement. I agree that we are far apart rhetorically. But I don't think we are so far apart substantively.

I wonder how we have moved from disagreeing on methods to now questioning each others motives. I used to love have ongoing discussions with good friends of mine about politics even when we disagreed because at the end of the day there was any acknowledgement that we both wanted the same thing. I have an African-American friend that I used to work with in San Diego that really epitomized this approach. We were generally far apart on the issues, but I had the highest respect for him because he was always willing to listen and consider what I had to say and he always made me evaluate my own beliefs. I hope that I did the same for him.

I noticed the change about a year ago. I was talking with two work collegues and told them that our disagreement was about methods but not about goals. They vehemently disagreed and said that Republicans and anyone that supports them are evil. End of discussion.

I think that some people have tried to counter this phenomena by moderating their beliefs. While that is an admirable move, I think the issue is that we should be moderating our rhetoric.

In many ways, this is what I am trying to do on this blog. I've had a few people think that I am selling out because I am talking with people on the left and am even guest blogging at Dean Nation. But if you read through my blog, you will see that I'm not hiding what I believe in any way. But I am trying to moderate my voice and the tone of my conversation. As a sinful, fallen creation of God, I've realized that one of the worst temptations for me is hubris. So I am trying to do my best here to be willing to evaluate my stances on positions and be open to those that disagree with me.