Wednesday, April 12

Your Lips Are Moving, So You Must Be Saying Something

Do you ever feel like saying, "I can tell you are talking, because I see your lips moving" to people on the other side of the debate?

I have semi-regular e-conversations/debates with friends who are proud liberals, leftists, and anti-Bush/Bush haters, and those conversations usually involve the same basic elements:

  1. They try to get me to agree with them that Bush lied.
  2. There really is no "threat" to America except the republicans and our leaders.
  3. Soicalize anything is better than our current system.
  4. Conservative news agencies are propagandists that don't report the truth, and only leftist sites, or MSM news outlets report the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Occasionally, they try to convince me that the mantra of the Left is the only possible truth, but mostly they respect our differences and accept that we don't agree. I think the dialog between us is a good thing. My one friend really wants to believe he can be convinced that he might be wrong, but so far, no evidence contrary to his held beliefs has risen to the watermark he has set. (He would argue the same is true of me and my held beliefs, so I guess that's fair.)

So, I wonder how much are we really listening to each other? In my a fairly regular e-debates, we freqently say the same things to each other, but rarely hear what the other person is saying. Case in point:

Everyone hears only the evidence that they want to hear or concentrates on the parts of the story that they want to believe. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Hum, I've said the very same thing on many occasions. He also offered the following:

Isn't it all a matter of opinion still?

And this:

I'm willing to give ground that although Bush may have lied to get us into Iraq (let's not debate that now), the noble goal of stabilizing the Middle East is a good one that, if it works, will eventually lead to a better world. Are you willing to give ground anywhere w.r.t. Iraq?

While my friend and I disagree on many substantive things concerning the WoT, terrorisim, socialized medicine, taxes, and the whole gambit of issues that devide this country, he and I agree on this... we seem to be so busy talking at each other, we're not listening to, or hearing what the other person is saying. Are we are so entrenched in our positions and hunkered down in our bunkers like they are the only things that will save our lives from the enemy's fire, that we can't see there are real people over on the other side who want the same basic things we want: a safe world to live, and raise our families in. In some cases, they are truly the enemies of our freedoms, but I'd argue that in most cases, we just have different ideas as to how to achieve it.

If things are going to really improve in this country, in our world, in our own personal lives, maybe we should try to listen to each other.

But what would be the sense in that. ;-þ

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