Screaming Isn’t The Same as Talking

Screaming Isn’t The Same as Talking

Adrienne BoettingerFriday,29 August 2014

The Snap:

In not so shocking news, the United States is becoming more polarized. No, this doesn’t mean global warming isn’t real because the world is getting colder. It means we seek out and try to spend time primarily with people who think the same way as us, avoid sharing opinions we think will result in us being mocked or ostracized, and shun people who challenge our views. We even go so far as to move to communities, counties and states where we can be surrounded by like-minded individuals and not be subjected to listening to what other people think, want or believe. Then we’re shocked when our regional representatives to the federal government also only seek out those who think like them and try to avoid the mere appearance of listening to someone on the opposite side of the aisle. America, you are making my head hurt.

The Download:

Since much of the country is heading back to school, we wanted to help prepare everyone for vocabulary questions teachers don’t ask anymore because our children have become geniuses by using the Interwebz.

1. Debate means to argue, especially in a formal manner.

2. Argue means to give reasons or cite evidence in support of an idea, action or theory, typically with the aim of persuading others to share one’s view.

3. Fighting means to take part in a violent struggle, involving the exchange of physical blows or use of weapons.

4. Talking means to engage in speech and screaming means to cry something in a high-pitched, frenzied way.

5. Talking and screaming are not the same things.

6. Fighting and debating are not the same things.

Healthy debates, offering up opinions and listening to others’ opinions are the guts and lifeblood of democracy. That’s why this Congress, more so than any other in the past several decades, have choked the life force out of our democracy. They spend the bulk of their waking hours vilifying the “other side.” And we not only let our elected officials do that, we encourage them to engage in partisan, rancorous behavior.

When Congress returns from its prolonged summer recess, check out the discussions and “debates” on the House and Senate floors. We’re fairly confident in predicting the level of maturity will be akin to kindergarteners who plug their fingers in their ears and scream, “I can’t hear you!” whenever one of their colleagues says something the politicians don’t endorse. The only problem is these are full-grown adults who are paid a lot of money, given a lot of power and entrusted with a solemn and sacred duty of representing their constituents to the best of their abilities.

The toughest issues require more — not less — debate. We need to seek out the opinions of different groups, listen to the guidance of experts, examine evidence and facts, and make informed decisions. And if the asshats we continue to elect year after friggin’ year can’t do that, we have no one to blame but ourselves.


Take Action!

Hat Tips:

Washington PostJournalist’s ResourceThe Wire, Image Credit: Flickr

Subscribe to get updates delivered to your inbox