To the Editor:
I’m sorta new here, taking up permanent residence in 2020. One of the reasons we moved here was to escape the political vitriol extant in Minnesota, which has pretty much divided itself into two camps; heavily liberal in the Minneapolis – St. Paul metro area, solidly conservative outstate and smaller towns–and persons from the one are not necessarily welcome in the other. It wasn’t always that way: once upon a time people could talk and share views rationally. But today? To classify the level of political discussion there as resembling drunks arguing at an NFL football game is certainly no exaggeration.
Unfortunately, despite the numerous advantages of living here, the level of political discourse is, if anything, even worse than in Minnesota.
I confess I don’t understand it. My political views, as I assume the views of other rational people, are not held by me as dogma, and have changed over time, sometimes because I try to listen to those with opposing views. I also accept that in a representative republic my way is NOT the only way: the people opposed to my views have as much right to be seen and heard as I do–that is the essence of our system, after all. But today in Florida, Minnesota and probably every one of the remaining 48 states, that is not the case. Those people holding opposing political points of view, once termed “the loyal opposition” back in the 70s and 80s, have devolved into definitions of The Enemy, no matter which side of the fence you’re standing on. Compromise, which is the backbone of our system, is now us against them, and winning at all costs rather than seeking out common ground is the only real goal out there.
Can our system, given what we’ve become, continue to exist? There are times when I doubt it–not without some fundamental change in how we do things. I confess I don’t know for sure just what those changes should consist of, but I’d enjoy hearing the opinions of others on this topic.
Do others agree with the assessment of our system contained here? What, if anything, needs to change? And how do we go about accomplishing that change?
Village of Alhambra