03/12/11 — Idea exchange: There are ways to examine issues with a purpose in mind

View Archive

Idea exchange: There are ways to examine issues with a purpose in mind

It is time to reject crazy.

And by crazy, we do not mean ranting and raving Charlie Sheen or the myriad of other kooks who populate the Hollywood landscape.

This time we mean people who do not research, who do not think their positions through and who cannot do anything except in the extreme.

You know the type.

They rant and rave over issues based not on a reasoned, well-thought-out approach, but based on what someone else has told them to believe -- and they come from both sides of the political spectrum. Their arguments become emotional quickly -- and they are unable to have a discussion that does not end in name-calling or a rush to judgment.

They are the ones who make discussions between reasonable people impossible, because they are too busy talking to entertain the possibility that someone else might have a viable idea to share.

Right about now, there are people on both sides of the party line thinking that this message is about them -- and that this commentary is anti-this and anti-that.


There are people on both sides of the aisle who are roadblocks to meaningful progress and discussions that end in getting something done rather than lots of hot air and politicking.

It is not the debate Americans are tired of hearing. It is the useless name-calling and rampant insinuations that mar the process of free speech and the exchange of ideas.

They believe that sometimes there is a middle ground -- and sometimes one party is simply wrong. They believe that there have to be standards and expectations, and that a country that is based on the concept of freedom ought to be able to have discussions about its future.

And they expect their leaders to be able to create an atmosphere where winning is not as important as getting it right.

Right now, there are states facing huge budget deficits. The federal government is spending money like there is no tomorrow and we face challenges to our future as a nation -- how to educate our children, how to raise intact families and how to keep young people on the straight and narrow.

There are going to be disagreements about how to get there -- and there is nothing wrong with that.

It takes a strong leader to stand up, to lead a discussion like that and to direct a country back to its center, its core, its purpose.

If we let the crazies capture the discussion and determine the agenda, we will face another decade of arguments and little progress.

And that is not good for America.

That's why the rest of us have to get involved, have to speak our mind, have to pay attention.

We have to remember that it is our country, too.

Published in Editorials on March 12, 2011 11:30 PM