Amongst all the lofty talking points and passionate speeches being made on the campaign trail during this Presidential election cycle, the fact remains that we are standing at a crossroad in our nation.
We have two major worldviews competing to control our government. Some will suggest I am being over simplistic in this opinion column, but the reality standing out to me is that we have a big government crowd with all the resulting issues that are part of that worldview. We also have the smaller government crowd with all the resulting issues going with that worldview.
Some people want to rename the big government crowd as progressives, which most of us know is another name for socialism, and some would even say the first cousin to that world view is communism. The other opposing worldview is known by the free enterprise, capitalist tenets of smaller government -- letting the market take the risk, personal responsibility, and doing away with government guaranteed entitlements. There are people arguing that we have gone so far away from the second form of government that it can never be reclaimed. There are those who suggest people who have the worldview of smaller government are selfish and care little for our fellow inhabitants on this planet.
There is harsh and even hate-filled speech erupting from extremists on both sides of the worldview issues. When it is possible for clear-minded people to sit and talk in civil tones about the opposing worldviews there is a better chance of having real understanding about beginnings and destinations of both views.
Watching the Republican National Convention last week with my twitter account open, the restriction of expressing a view in only 140 characters limited many in being able to fully defend or deny the position they were expressing. Charges and hate-filled rhetoric does nothing to advance the serious debate that is needed in our country in order to lead us to a consensus of how best to move forward as a nation. The immature statements posted by many on public forums leads to name calling and finger pointing with little or no supporting evidence for the position expressed by the person posting the comment regarding the agreement with or disagreement of opinions shared.
When a worldview has to be reduced to a three-second sound bite, we have entered into an almost impossible realm of being understood. We must all come to the place where we are willing to admit the filter by which we process information is biased toward the opinion we hold. I am conservative; therefore, I process all information through my conservative filter. It is also true, however, that liberals process all information through their liberal filter. I understand that reality. From where I stand, I look forward to the time when we can sit together (liberal and conservative) without personal attacks and clearly express our worldview in order to better understand each other.
Follow Ray Newman on Twitter @RayNewmanSr