I'm tight with people on far sides of the American political spectrum. I am friends with people who think Trump is antichrist, and others convinced that God appointed him for such a time. Just like you, I know people who will vote blue the rest of their lives, and I know people who will vote red no matter the ballot.
And I'm just as entertained by this election as you are. It's political theater the likes of which we've never seen. No election cycle has appealed to our need for a good story, because no presidential election cycle has enabled both sides to vilify the other.
It makes for dangerous conversation. I respect the people that think politics isn't dinner talk, but I think it speaks volumes to how we hold these conversations. If you weren't paying close attention, you'd almost think we were in a world of superheroes and villains. Each person's party is the Justice League, set to vanquish Lex Luthor and other evil forces.
Which is fascinating to me, because we spew these words across the table from people who scraped their knees learning to ride a bike, who get nervous before speeches, who fart in their sleep, who buy the same toothpaste, who never think they're the one hogging the blanket at night.
If I don't like somebody, if I think they're mean, or if I think they're foolish, the most important thing to do is find a way to realize they're a lot like me. Yes, they have differences. But if I think they do stupid things, I know they're doing so from legitimate wants.
I think we somehow forget that in our political conversation. There are dearly held things at stake, I get that. When I think somebody's far off point, I get pissed too.
So let's experiment.
I think rich people should pay more taxes than they do to fund a minimum wage increase, and you think both are just fine where they are. We disagree about tax brackets, but at this point we are really talking about justice. It feels unjust to me that wealthy people sometimes actively seek out tax loopholes while hard-working people struggle to find living wage jobs. It feels unjust to you that a woman or man who's worked long hours to accumulate their wealth should get disproportionately taxed for it.
Can you feel the heat this conversation is about to generate? The difference between a meaningful conversation and a shouting match happens at the beginning. Though you might disagree about my solution, do you grant that wanting opportunities for the working poor is a good thing? Because I grant that people should enjoy the fruit of their work.
And once that happens, it's not a battle of good vs. evil anymore. We're finally conversing about solutions to the problems that belong to all of us.
And that's all I've got to say about THAT.
photo cred: kasey, taking a picture of tim and I coming to a consensus about important things