Roger Marolt: The well of compromise has run dry
Dug-in heels have replaced physics in explaining inertia against moving forward.
It was hot and dry for a week and I got tired of that. Then it rained and got cool for two days and I got sick of that, too. Where did the good old days go when it was sunny and warm every summer morning and evening with an hour of thunderstorms freshening up things in the late afternoon?
Say what you will about complaining about the weather, it’s better than arguing over it. It is possible these days to genuinely offend someone by saying you prefer hot, dry weather to drizzle. It’s not the same thing as wishing for a forest fire. I don’t want the countryside to get charred, but I do enjoy hot, dry summers. There is so much more that can be done with 14 consecutive hours without precipitation.
Somebody is offended by that personal preference. That’s ridiculous. If I could create a heat wave over Colorado simply by wishing for it, don’t you think I could wish a little harder and make it happen without increasing the fire danger? Wishes don’t generally become facts, so let people make them without judgment. Things will turn out the way they will.
The same goes for winter vs. summer. One is not better than the other. Whichever you like best, who cares? Whichever I like best, let it go. Why do people debate this? Do we really want to spend precious time and energy changing someone’s mind about the seasons, or so cleverly argue the point that we talk them into a circle of admitting that shivering actually is preferable to sweating?
We can tell it is a disease when feuding spills into our recreational activities. Some hate snowboarders and others hate skiers. In the end it makes no difference. We know this because it doesn’t even make any difference right now. Golf is a waste of time. Great, let people waste it. ________ (Enter “Mountain” or “Road”) biking is for arrogant jerks. Yoga is for weirdos, except for hot yoga. Really?
This polarization of preference we magnetize into events we don’t have anything to do with. Arguing over which team is the best is possibly the most pointless waste of taking offense. In the end, one team is declared the champion and a week afterward only that team’s fans remember, and only a fraction of those care anymore. Having “your” team win a championship may be the single most anticlimactic occurrence in human existence.
There is no middle ground in anything anymore. It is all or nothing from the weather to the World Series. Opinions are now facts and facts are whatever we imagine. Half the world is right, the other is wrong, and vice-versa. Dug-in heels have replaced physics in explaining inertia against moving forward. We are all star-bellied sneetches.
How did politics become such an effective catapult for flinging trash talk over the imaginary walls of ideals? Why does everyone seem to believe everything is riding on what the Democrats or Republicans say? Isn’t the sheer force of the way we live together in the ordinary course of 330 million lives every day more meaningful than rhetoric?
It seems in the days when things are remembered to have worked better that the only people who cared passionately about politics were grouchy old men who were no good at golf in spite of playing an awful lot of it and who needed something to take their minds off it. For everyone else it was a matter of respecting the privilege of voting while remembering that one out of millions and millions of votes cast was not anything to get too worked up over.
We made a mistake recently of forcing the word out that every vote mattered when we should have told the truth. We overemphasized the individual in our democracy, where all persons are created equal. It was the contradiction that cratered us. It is not that every vote matters, and simple math easily proves this. What was lost in this mad grab for votes is that the important thing is everyone participating together. We should have emphasized more value in finding out what the national consensus is than the expectation by any individual that their needs being met is synonymous with exercising the right to vote.
Votes are sort of like magic. All of them together end up being something much greater than each one in the stack. The stack has the mass to maintain democracy! The taller the better.
Roger Marolt has never lost an argument, something he is very ashamed of. Email him at email@example.com.
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