1) two wars going on, one of them the longest in our history
2) the US has enormous debt
3) the divide between the poor and the wealthy is getting larger every day
4) the unemployment rate of 9.1% doesn't even reflect those who have given up looking for a job
5) there is economic insecurity across the globe
6) there are people starving in east Africa
I could go on and on and on, but you get the picture. And my government, OUR government, wastes time on fixed positions. It seems when the ship has sprung a leak, we need to pitch in together, and not continue to say that our position is the right one.
I dedicate my life to peace. I have learned how to have compassion for those I dislike, those I find repulsive, those who have hurt me. That doesn't mean I am a pushover -- not by a mile!
The fight for power and money (which is a component of power) is going on fiercely, particularly in the US. Those who represent the old ways (call them what you will) are afraid that they are about to lose their esteemed position. They could be whites who see a dark skinned president, they could be wealthy people who are afraid they will lose some of their luxuries, they might be of modest means who have been manipulated into believing that moving forward will mean a loss of their familiarities.
Those people/organizations who are clinging to their power, and who reside at or near the top of the food chain, consciously and unconsciously manipulate the people at the lower ends by feeding fear and anger.
WE DON'T LEARN
I knew someone who had fled Bosnia a number of years ago. He told me how he had neighbors who belonged to the other ethnic group, and how they had been friends and good neighbors. When the bloodshed began, and hatred rose in their country, he no longer spoke to his neighbor, and began to hate them. He hated them JUST BECAUSE. He spoke with such venom, it was scary.
So now we kill doctors who perform (legal) abortions, we burn campaign offices of those we disagree with, we espouse hate to rile up the crowd, we put crosshairs on our website, we call our president a "tar baby", and we sit back and watch the hatred boil over. (All of my examples come from the news - facts!)
WE DO NOT LEARN
I can tell you that if particular potential presidential candidates manage to get elected, I will seriously consider moving from my beloved country. They spew hate.
We are narcotized in this country -- what gets us riled up enough to take action? We have lost trust in our Congress, but we don't force them to act differently. We act as if we are powerless. That means the hate mongers win.
WE NEED TO LEARN
We need to stand up for:
compassion, even in the face of serious disagreement
the willingness to sit down and talk, listen to the other side, and compromise, if necessary
American values (not Christian values, not Jewish values, not Muslim values, not Democratic values, not Republican values)
I am willing to stand up and let my government AND the media that I have had enough of polarization, lying, and catering to the wealthy. Are you?