This is not a partisan political Post. In fact, I hope it’s the opposite.
Normally, I love watching the political conventions in an election year – both major party conventions. While I obviously side with the more conservative one philosophically, I really do appreciate good wit and humor, even when it jabs at those who share my beliefs. Who doesn’t remember former Texas governor Ann Richards’ comment at the 1988 Democratic convention speaking about George H. W. Bush when she said “Poor George, he can’t help it – he was born with a silver foot in his mouth.” Now that’s just funny, I don’t care who you are. (And, yes, I voted for Bush #1 in both elections.)
What is saddening, though, is the tunnel vision so many demonstrate these days when it comes to political spin and the corresponding lack of willingness to listen at all to the messages others have. It simply is not the case that nearly everything one candidate or party says is true while the other is nearly always false. Anyone who claims otherwise just isn’t willing to listen to both sides and address issues. To believe everything from one side and nothing from the other is to be stubbornly blinded by partisanship.
In today’s political climate, such tunnel vision does nobody any good and is, in fact, intellectual dishonesty. I can’t stop others from preferring and promoting this disease, but I can sure commit myself to intellectual honesty which I believe is its cure. We must be able to have discussions about issues, basing our reasoned positions on clearly stated values and principles, and then vote for the candidates that most closely align with our positions. Vilifying the other party or candidate does nothing to convince me to vote for your party or candidate.
If you want my vote in November, then you have to share the values and principles that are most important to me. Show me how you have done that, are doing that and will do that and you have a shot at my vote. Nothing less will convince me.
Leap year lesson #243 is Political tunnel vision is a condition that needs correction.