By Samir Shukla
A Solution to Political Pollution
It's a lovely number, this incoming fresh year. 2020. This number gives a sense of perfect vision, calm and order. Of course contemporary politics are not exactly ordered or calm. They are disjointed, emotionally charged, physically draining and full of twists and turns. There is a concept, a word, where we can approach some sort of orderly calmness. That concept, a simple tool to tap into in times of conflict and dissonance, is called reason. The quiet voices of reason can douse the fires of political partisanship and tribalism, and help get things done. Of course, by reason I mean in the sense where logic and facts matter. Well, that's common sense, you may say. What I mean is the ability to put aside biases in heated moments and put your adult hat on.
It requires concerted effort.
In the madness of this presidential election year, the strong middle, the backbone of America has to come to the rescue. Join the reasoned masses and help put the fake news, fake memes, and fake righteousness and bravado of liars and noisemakers back into their holes.
The loudmouths on the right and the left are in the minority. They are like the proverbial barking dogs that lack real bite and can be subdued, but only when the reasoned folks insert truthfulness into chaos.
It's funny how we are becoming more tribal, but at times, especially during sporting events and music concerts, we untangle our usual tribalism and weave a different tone. Sports fans high-fiving each other every time their team scores, everyone dancing and singing along to a popular song during concerts, these folks maybe politically opposite, but in that moment, after a slam dunk, or a soaring guitar solo, the tribes intermingle. They become one. This is the real human community, instilled with a natural sense of camaraderie. A shared joy. This similar convergence happens in moments of national tragedy. A shared pain.
Political ideologies vanish when peoples merge in celebration. They may again become bitter partisans as soon as they walk out, but in that moment of communal gathering, differences melt away. This is worth replicating in daily lives.
Fellow travelers on the ship called reason take a deep breath and welcome the fresh year. There will be maddeningly distorted political ads everywhere as we inch toward Election Day, incessant robocalls, and social media fisticuffs galore. The adults in the room will have to sprinkle the cooling drops of truth and facts to keep those partisan fires from getting out of control, which can consume individuals, destroy long term friendships and unhinge families. It is just politics folks; we still share our joys and our pains.
Let's create invisible parties of logicians, Reasoncrats or Reasonpublicans, if you will, and yes, we still have our personal ideologies, but we can be the moderation sorely needed for the sake of our neighborhoods, towns, and country.