Settling for Political Garbage
Once upon a time, representatives from 13 fractious colonies with a wide view of contentious beliefs walked into a room and came out with a single document outlining a new government. The spirit of that event once characterized the American mindset, but, by and large, that is no longer true.
Nobody seems to care.
People used to care about being able to persuade political opponents through effective rhetoric and cogent arguments. It required people to have a thorough understanding of their own beliefs as well as their opponent’s. It reminded people that they shared the same ultimate objectives for a happy country. And it allowed for more cooperative political progress which would be unimaginable in today’s gridlock. I’m well aware that I’m glossing over plenty of squabbling and partisanship, but just roll with it for a minute. The operative word is more cooperative.
People seem to have settled for the gridlock. Political parties speak of and characterize one another as though the other political party will just disappear and they will get along just fine without needing to have a productive conversation with one another.
Of course, neither political party ever goes away. They each have ebbs and flows of power, but they are only fleeting. The result is a miserable roller coaster of political brownie points. Owning the libs or shaming the conservatives is the greatest reward for politically minded people nowadays, and people have settled for it.
This political settling is the equivalent of being born and raised in a literal landfill but contenting oneself with the especially enjoyable bits of garbage that come one’s way.
We won’t leave the proverbial landfill until we learn to detest ideas while embracing political opponents with an attitude of charity and cooperation (as long as they do not abuse the benefit of the doubt).
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K. William Huitt
K. William Huitt is currently an M.A. student in Western Michigan University’s philosophy program. He graduated from Hillsdale College in 2019 with a B.A. in philosophy and a minor in history. He has spoken at various Christian apologetics events and writes regularly about religious and political issues.