Monday, October 06, 2008

Who won the debate?

So, I was asked a dozen times or more about the Vice-Presidential Debate. Each time it was by someone who really didn't want my opinion, only my agreement.

The truth of the matter is that I think both Obama and McCain white-knuckled their way through the Biden/Palen verbal skirmish. I'm sure both of them were relieved that both V.P. candidates did nothing to self-destruct or derail the campaign. That's my truth. I thought both of them were equally uninspiring. Biden comes across as self-righteous. Palin was scripted to evade what she couldn't answer. Ho hum.

But the people who asked me didn't want my opinion. Again, no interchange of ideas. They just wanted me to validate their perception and opinion. Couldn't do it.

I hang out a fair amount with more conservative Christian types. I live in a county that is known for its Republican leanings. I also have a fair amount of more liberal Christian friends. I live near Chicago, that has (rumor has it) leanings that are more democratic.

Can one be truthful with either camp? Are the lines so tightly drawn that truth becomes partisan?

Conservatives equate Christianity with Republicanism. I think that sells the cause of Christ short. To talk about justice, concern for the poor or to even being critical (in the best sense of that word) about a conservative candidate or position seems to put you on the hot seat. It's as if you're not really a Christian if you veer from the conservative line. That's when the walls go up. There is no possibility for dialogue.

Of course, more liberal Christian types have their own bias and they can look down their collective noses at their more conservative brothers and sisters. They are too easily dismissive of anything that doesn't serve their agenda.That's a wall difficult to climb.

So, who is it harder to talk with? Who has the least bandwith to talk intelligently about important issues?

Which group was I with last week? Why was I hemming and hawing? Why was I feeling walled in? What label was I trying to avoid? Was it a more conservative or a more liberal camp?

I felt trapped. I kind of knew that there was no room for discussion. Just agreement.

Oh, I did stick my toe into the political waters. But it didn't feel comfortable. So, I poked and prodded and asked just a little bit. Didn't want to risk more.

That's what happens risk growth. We're all the worse for it.

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