“Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion.” – Thomas Jefferson
Many independent voters are so because they are tired of empty rhetoric. Political discourse in this country has been reduced to two sides yelling at each other. Campaign slogans are filled with messages that treat the other sides like they are enemies, and we must pick a side in this never-ending battle as one side tries to “take back” this country from the other.
The United States was founded by men of different backgrounds and political philosophies. It was founded by individuals who placed the prosperity of the Republic and the welfare of its citizens above all else. We are more polarized today than at any other point in American history since, perhaps, the Civil War. Compromise has become a dirty word in politics. Reason is quickly dismissed.
We don’t have to hold hands and sing “Kumbayah,” but we do need an approach to reason. Let’s hear the arguments, assess the facts, and then make the decisions. People are vastly uninformed in this country, because divisive rhetoric makes better TV than honest reporting. Two sides scream at each other while the guy in the middle hopes their ears don’t start bleeding.
In football, the neutral zone is the area that separates the offense and the defense, two opposing sides, before every play. It maintains balance and order in an environment where the goal is to gain an advantage over the other side. If anyone should cross this zone before the snap of the ball, violating the rules of the sport, then they are penalized for it.
Two sides divided by personal politics. Both seek to convince you that they’re right on every single issue. They speak of each other like they are on the frontlines of some ideological war. In the realm of public discourse intelligent debate should be encouraged and pointless divisive rhetoric, void of any substance at all, should be called out for what it is. There needs to be a neutral zone to maintain some level of balance.