Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Freedom is a beautiful thing

I have a problem. I have a love/hate relationship with politics. I love thinking about politics. I try and follow as much as I can current trends and happenings in the political world. However, I HATE listening to political pundits. I especially cannot abide listening to people who are so soaked in their respective ideology that they simply CANNOT find a single good thing to say about ANYTHING that originates from an opposing party.

The enormous echo chamber we call the Internet only makes it worse. The ability to hide behind anonymity can make normal people into absolute caricatures of humanity. It is irritating, obnoxious and mind-numbing to listen to partisan hacks swinging contrived slabs of opinionated vitriol at each other. 

Yep. I have a problem.

However - I was taught a valuable and simple lesson today. The first presidential debate of this election was aired tonight. I had no intention of watching it and was looking forward to ignoring it in every way possible. I did essentially that and was trying to skim through all the Facebook messages about it when one caught my eye. Austin Call pointed out something that I needed to be reminded of. Are you ready for it? We have presidential debates!!! As much as we might be annoyed at the current state of political discourse, we still live in a country where we get to have discourse. How wonderful is that? We live in an open society where we actually have a healthy (if not necessarily enjoyable) debate over politics and policy. It's a pretty amazing deal.

So, as much as we might be annoyed, we should still put our shoulder to the wheel and push along. We should be active participants in the discourse. We should be active participants in the process. We should not just enjoy our freedoms, but fight for them and for the dictates of our conscience as much as we can.

Thank you Austin for reminding me of that tremendous blessing. It is good to have people remind me of how much an idiot I am sometimes.

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