Pick Your Battles

In this latest election, we’ve seen the results of a very polarized electorate, among other things.

I believe that it is incumbent upon all of us to DO something about that. Each of us cares deeply about some issue, or a few issues. There are places on the Internet where we can find like-minded souls, and discuss those issues, and we tend to congregate in those places.

But there are other places, where the benighted fools who disagree with us hang out.

I’m suggesting that we each go to one of those places, and every so often enter a conversation with the people who hang out there.

Be CIVIL. Be respectful. Listen to them. And with every possible fact, bit of logic and persuasiveness at our command, try to convince them of the validity of our POV.

You’re going to get flamed. But maybe, if you keep responding politely, seriously and thoughtfully, maybe you’ll open some minds.

If we all do this, and if we respond respectfully, politely and with careful consideration to those idiots who do the same in our groups, then it is my carefully considered opinion that we might just find our way to a better society.

Or so I hope.

The old saying goes, “Pick your battles.” I’m expanding that. My version runs: “Pick your battles, but DO pick some.”

When you’ve done this, please come back, and tell me what happened.

I look forward to your comments.

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4 Responses to “Pick Your Battles”

  1. Henry Melton says:

    Sorry to see this site devolve into a call to promote flame wars over an election already past.

    Goodbye. Unsub

    • Henry Melton, that’s actually the opposite of what I am calling for. But thank you for making it clear that it could be interpreted that way. I had hoped that the repetition of the word “civil” would make it clear that I want something other than flames.

  2. Marion,

    The one thing you missed here is “and maybe adjust our own thinking”. I have argued elsewhere that what hurt the Clinton campaign is a long-standing failure to understand the other side of arguments; but not just arguments, who and why they are different.

    And so many reformers, filled with their own emotional pleasure at helping others, rush their solutions, without ensuring they are not upsetting others too much. That is a failure to understand democracy must be inclusive, not a fight for might.

  3. Joseph,
    Most people don’t enter into discussions expecting to change their own minds. But inevitably, that happens. Of course we need to do that. Of course it will happen when people actually listen to each other. It happens less quickly even when they don’t.

    I thought that was an obvious subtext to what I wrote. Then again, there’s a reason why I don’t claim to be a writer. I don’t always know what I should leave in.

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