By Colleen O'Connor
Are you tired of the family feuds. The talking heads? The snarky tweets and the endless scorn and put-downs associated with today’s political “discussions?”
Are you longing for peace and sanity, despite the apparent stumbling towards a war footing and chaos?
Perhaps, there is a better way to heal this country than just repeating the “same old” approach that got us here.
Perhaps, we can cheer ourselves up and improve things simultaneously.
Here are a few suggestions for a better way to discuss politics.
The Swiss practice “direct democracy.” It is as simple as it sounds.
Cut out the middle men and women (representatives) and let citizens vote directly. A simple majority rules. How good is that?
In fact, the Swiss are about to vote—directly—on whether to allow 5G towers in their midst. It’s the result is a nationwide revolt.
“Switzerland was among the first countries to begin deploying 5G, but health fears over radiation from the antennas that carry the next-generation mobile technology have sparked a nationwide revolt,” according to an AFP report.
Watch that election. It is more futuristic than ours.
It shares all the ingredients for a robust debate on democracy itself: technology, global giants, the future of privacy, and a country’s loss of sovereignty.
A second, better way to discuss politics is to find the good news—not the “click-bait” horror stories of wackos and weirdos, nor the hyper-noisy headlines and tweets of dueling factions.
Try something that is uniquely and positively wonderful.
For example, try American photography. Pick one—any one—of National Geographic’s best photos of the year and drink it in. The wonder of the world dims all crankiness.
Even education also has some good spots, such as the state of New Mexico offering free college tuition to any resident of the state. (San Diego Community College District already leads on this).
Best of all, try everyday human kindness.
For example, consider an Indian woman’s one-rupee breakfast. According to a BBC video, “Kamalaathaal has been serving up delicious meals in the southern Indian city of Coimbatore for the past 30 years — and she has not increased her prices since the day she launched her business.”
Watch the video.
Or re-acquaint yourself with America’s often-maligned youth.
According to a Tufts University study, midterm voter turnout among college students nearly doubled in 2018 to 40%, compared to 19% in 2014.
Best of all youth images—other than the rallies and marches and moving moments after the school shootings—is this photo of a young kid protecting climate activist Greta Thunberg from the recent press gaggle on Capital Hill.
Look at the photo. How can you not like this guy?
Applaud the grannies and the kids. They just might save us.
This is a better way to save friendships, end family standoffs, and cheer ourselves up.
Join the grannies and the kids—and embrace a better way to discuss everything—including politics.
Colleen O’Connor is a native San Diegan and a retired college professor.
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