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Opening Closed Minds with Healthy Debate

Protesters hold up a placard during a rally in London's Parliament Square
Protesters hold up a placard during a rally in London’s Parliament Square (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

I don’t know when it started or who is to blame but one of the things lost or at least forgotten in this country lately is open-minded dialogue.  It’s something that I’ve noticed over the years but clearly ramped up during the most recent presidential election which has further divided our country.

It used to be that you could have a discussion about politics and other issues and in a clam manner agree to disagree with someone. Not any more.

Now if you’re on the opposite end it’s no longer a discussion but an argument and each side is likely to dig in and defend their turf like it’s the finals of a debate. Actually, those are more civil.  Voices raise, faces turn red, bodies clench and friends often become enemies over issues that they really don’t control anyway.

Build a wall or don’t build a wall, legalize marijuana or don’t legalize marijuana. Gun control, minimum wage, school uniforms, children’s vaccines, gay marriage, video game violence, is cheerleading really a spot (okay I threw that one in for levity).  These are all issues that easily can come up in discussions at dinner with friends and result in someone getting stuck with the check because someone else left early.

We have always had differences of opinions but it seems now more than ever we’re drawing lines in the sand and if you cross that line well, you’re the bad guy.

You see this quite a bit through Facebook and other social media posts in which many express their opinions as the gospel and are not interested in hearing the other side because to them there is no other side.

Healthy debate is good but what we have today is very different and frankly serves little purpose.  If you disagree with this then don’t ever listen again and feel free to unfriend me from Facebook. (LOL)

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