There’s been plenty of coverage around the idea that our society has never been more politically divided.
It’s hard to know, given the context of history, how much worse it is than other times. It sure seems like it was probably worse during the Civil War.
But we’re definitely not unified right now.
One of the things that brings us down is the inclusion of politicians in our conversations about politics.
When you’re talking about policies, actions, and statements, you’re talking about ideas, and the execution of those ideas. It’s fertile ground for debate and innovation. When you think in terms of problems, then the conversation will turn to solutions.
But too often and too easily, our conversations devolve into the characters and personalities of our politicians.
It’s one thing to debate the merits of something President Trump tweeted. It’s another thing to call him names, say he’s stupid, say he’s smart, or bother with any kind of opinion about Trump, the man.
We don’t know him. We don’t know what’s in his heart. We don’t know what’s in his mind. We don’t know his motivations. We don’t know what he knows. We don’t know what kind of information he has that we don’t.
To talk about Trump, Obama, Hillary, McConnell, Cruz, Pelosi, and the endless list of political figures at all national, state, and local levels is to waste time talking about people we don’t know.
All we know is when a politician pays lip service for or against an idea we support, we decide whether that person is the greatest or worst person in our government. Either one is irrelevant.
If we could keep our conversations to the problems, the ideas, and the solutions, we could probably come together far more often that we’d be apart.