We’ve become, according to some experts, a nation divided and polarized into red conservative states and blue liberal states.
Each side of this Republican vs Democrat equation demonizes the other, has preconceived notions about how the other half thinks and what they believe. Each side regards the other half of the divide as misguided at best or stupid at worst.
Each side has positions they stand for—and positions they stand against. Proponents shorthand these stands into catch phrases—“No new taxes,” “Tax and spend liberals,” “Pro-Choice,” Affirmative Action,” “Property Rights,” “Right to Bear Arms,” to name but a few. Every such phrase conjures up immediate divisions between those who are “for” or “against” the issue.
And yet, each of those issues is a complex topic oversimplified by the catchphrase. Our positions are more gut level than intellectual and well thought out. Delving into the issues, understanding the facts about those issues and then applying our values to them reveal that our positions are not so “yes” or “no” but far more nuanced.
Unfortunately, because our society has become so complex, we carry into each of the issues assumptions that may not accurately reflect the facts.
“I’m against those darn government handout programs that take my hard earned money and give it to those who are too lazy to work.”
“We don’t need new taxes, we just need to cut out government waste.”
“We ought to just ban guns, because they make our society more violent.”
“A woman should be able to decide about her own body and it’s nobody else’s business if she wants to have an abortion.”
“We need to just stop developers from destroying all the open land and endangered species habitat.”
“We need to get out of Iraq now.”
These and similar statements may sound like rational positions. However, when we look at the issues in-depth, we discover there are many aspects we haven’t considered, competing values involved, and that “absolute” positions either pro or con are not practical; compromises may be necessary.
This website and blog will look at the “gray” areas--examining the issues and positions from multiple frames of reference. Since the term “Fair and Balanced” has become a joke, we claim no such stance—-to be human is to be biased. But we hope to offer views that are not restricted to the rigid ideologies of left and right. Stay tuned and let us know how we’re doing.