Book Trailer For Madam President

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Lone Liberal--what we really don't talk about

Ever bring up politics at a social gathering? It's like someone turned on the gas. People leave the room, people look away, they quickly veer away from the subject. We have really lost our ability to talk anymore about our differences. If I say I am a liberal Democrat at a party usually there is no response. It doesn't matter if I am at blue party or a red party. People treat politics now the way they used to treat race. You just don't talk about it. And if we do talk about it is in a corner with someone we know is sympathetic to our view.
I told a woman the other day I was a Democrat and you thought I had just dropped my pants. Silence. Or the condescending smile. Nice people don't talk about politics. The problem with that is we then give it away to the pundits who will say anything. It's like we are all watching someone swear in church, watching Obermann or O'Reily say the things we really want to say but wouldn't dare. What a sad comment on our modern life where public discourse is frowned upon.
Americans used to debate openly the politics of the day. We are a nation of ideas and people debated points the way we watch sports now. You were expected to have an opinion and if you didn't then the other guy certainly would. I guess we have become a vicarious nation. We watch sports and live through athletes who make millions of dollars for playing games. We watch pundits bash away at each other from the safety of our homes. We watch reality television shows of fallen celebrities, survival shows, adventure shows--anything we can slip into for our virtual moment and risk nothing.
Maybe we should start living in the first person again and leave the third person behind. We really only have one life and it is pretty sad if we go throught it asleep. Dare to be bold and declare your opinion at the next party. You never know, someone might take up the gauntlet and you could have...a discussion.

Books by William Hazelgrove