This column was written before this week’s first Presidential debate. Now be honest with yourself, especially if you’ve already made up your mind for whom you plan to vote. Did either candidate offer a persuasive argument that caused you to reconsider your firmly rooted position, or are your positions so well rooted in either side’s distorted version of the truth that even listening to the other position causes an uneasy feeling?
Until we realize that the issues we face and conclusions we reach must be made on the basis of substantial open-minded arguments, made by fair and honest individuals who make personal gain a secondary concern, we will continue to ratchet up the volume. The end result may well be a powerful backlash and an ever-growing call for greater civility. We must find a way to transition from win-lose, which ultimately leads to lose-lose, and reach out to win-win opportunities. Look no further than the Tea Party or the We are the 99% movements gaining traction in the grassroots of society today. In many cases their actions are marginalized by the well-seated power brokers who dismiss their views and work to neutralize their efforts by painting them as radicals instead of addressing the issues they hold dear.
Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.