Everyone's a Critic
The Observer's culture blogMonday, November 5, 2012
CIVILITY: IT CAN HAPPEN HERE, by Madeline Strong Diehl
These are dark times for America indeed. Not just because of all the polarization and disunity we see all around us, blue and red, conservative and liberal--not just because we can't seem to talk to each other or work across the divide anymore. But these are dangerous times because it's not safe to even answer the phone. There is always a robot on the other end, exhorting us in a DEEP SCARY MALE BARITONE DARTH VADAR VOICE that our economy will shut down and the world will end if we don't support or defeat his candidate or proposition. (Who is that voice actor, by the way, and in his real life, does he use his voice to try to get out of paying parking tickets, or bargain down the price of cars?)
Here is my solution; it's simple; it's cheap; it's within reach of all of us. After the election--or before--find someone in your neighborhood who has an election sign out front for the candidate you oppose. And introduce yourself to that neighbor, and take her a plate of cookies, like back in the old days, when people tried to make friends with their neighbors. And if you're invited for tea, the revolution--the real tea party--has begun. Maybe our elected officials have been lead to believe that they are being paid not to talk to people of the opposing party. Let's show them how it's done, and then write them and let them know it's possible, among neighbors of good faith.
Madeline, thanks for this refreshing reminder that our neighbors are more than just the political ideas they espouse. As are we. I love your spirit.
November 5, 2012, 7:42 p.m.
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