From the Editor

Hannah Brandt holding new Community Alliance banner at the 2017

Our Polarized World

It seems that we have lost that “in the middle” ideology. The thought of “balance” between two opposite worlds that used to make some people feel good. I remember listening to people analyze opposite viewpoints and try to find “the best” or “the positive” from each perspective. They certainly enjoyed that exercise, and it made them look like intelligent folks.

I wonder where they are now. I rarely see such people anymore. These days, discussions are passionate, often without logic of any kind. Of course, I am talking about discussions involving social issues. When the topic is sports, for instance, you could understand the passion and lack of logical arguments.

It is as if the arguments have given way to poison and hatred. And this basically comes from “the top,” which makes the situation even more dangerous. A TV network that institutionalized racism and vitriolic speech. A former president—now running again for the presidency—who openly insults his opponents and anybody he doesn’t like. These are among the main “influencers” of this new way of talking, which doesn’t necessarily mean “communicating.”

In short, everything now is black and white, which is wrong and dangerous because it makes reaching a consensus almost impossible especially when we have so many issues on the table, such as climate change. It is essential that our leaders come up with solutions to address these issues. However, we see the opposite: wars, autocratic leaders refusing to listen to a different tune and imposing certain views (theirs), fanaticism and more (of the same).

There is not much room for optimism. However, I think it’s worth it to keep on going and try to dialogue, bring valid arguments to the forefront and avoid worthless confrontations—without giving up your principles and values. To be firm and strong is not the same as being a fanatic. We don’t need more fanatics. What happens when you get too many of them in the same room? Well, look at our Congress, particularly the Republican side.

Depressing, isn’t it?

Till next month.

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