Closed Minds, Limited Possibilities

Closed Minds, Limited Possibilities

I have expressed some controversial opinions as of late. I have no doubt that I have irked some very powerful people. I have never understood why they seem to have so much trouble when someone dares to disagree with them. It is not a real democracy if people even within a political party can’t have honest disagreements without the less powerful point of view being quashed and the person expressing the minority opinion being ostracized.

In this case, I had been shoved to the side long ago so I have nothing to lose by expressing my point of view. Yet, it is still somewhat intimidating to express opinions contrary to those of a very powerful congressman and power broker within the state party. I just wish that he and his staff could understand the concept of loyal opposition. It is a sign of strength to be open enough to accept different points of view. They apparently see it as weakness. That’s too bad and pretty sad. People who think outside the box of conventional wisdom often have a lot to contribute. It seems to me somewhat ironic that the “liberal” party can be so closed minded about different points of view. I thought the point of being progressive or liberal is to be open minded.
Lately it seems that the Democratic party is as entrenched in it’s singular point of view as the Republicans are. That results in two rigid, fixed entities unwilling and unable to compromise for the good of the country. In this instance, the Democratic party is as guilty as their G.O.P counterparts. This country, in my opinion, can move forward only when there are multiple points of view which are respected by those with alternate perspectives.
Michigan Union BustingThe key, I think, is mutual respect. It seems like that quality is sadly lacking on the political scene and in government. Granted, it is difficult to show respect for positions that represent extremes that look like the caricatures of reality. Nevertheless, there needs to be a way to find common ground and the attempt needs to be serious from all sides. This is true of Congress, and the President on down to the state and local level of government and state parties.
When there is a lack of mutual respect, there is a lack of trust and the relationship is frozen. Paralysis is the lack of motion and in physics, what is in motion tends to stay in motion and that which is at rest tends to stay at rest. If there is no movement between different points of view, there can be no forward progress. That is where we, as a country, find ourselves: stalemated between intractable forces, immoveable like two bull moose, antlers locked in combat.
The above analysis, however, applies only when the two sides, or forces, are reasonably equal in position and power. When that is not the case, the person or force of lesser power or status can be ostracized or driven out. That is what has been happening with labor unions in this country. Corporations are doing their best to break unions so that workers have less power in the workplace. They are being quite successful as of late, especially by pushing the lie that workers are better off in “Right-To-Work” environments. All that really means is that employees have the right to work for less. The only alternative for the unions is to fight the lies by organizing. Indeed, that is probably the best alternative for all who see themselves as weaker and powerless in the face of greater power and influence. There is, in the end, always strength in numbers.

Cherie sees herself as a cross between Don Quixote and Charlie Brown: tilting at windmills but missing the football. She has always dabbled in poetry but took up blogging fairly recently. You can find her blog here. Her passions include: politics of the liberal stripe, exploring the intersection of social justice and faith and pursuing economic justice and fairness for all. You can find Cherie elsewhere on Twitter as @crbones or @US_JUST. She is also on LinkedIn and edits her online newspaper, The JUST Journal.

Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.


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