Why is everyone talking at once?
Call me old fashioned, but I want to hear what other people have to say, which is why I hate it when I hear voices talking over each other. It’s disrespectful. It’s impolite. It’s deafening.
But, of course, that’s the point. Those voices don’t want to hear other voices. They think theirs is the only voice that matters. It’s the only one that’s right.
Did I peg it? Is this what’s wrong with our political system right now? And I’m talking both sides of the aisle – so if you’re going to accuse me of being a leftist from Massachusetts, save your breath. I’m one woman who believes in freedom for all.
My problem isn’t the message. It’s the way it’s delivered. I miss the old days, when we respected other people enough to give them a chance to speak without interrupting. It doesn’t matter which side you’re on, we live in a pluralistic society and need to respect each other, even when we disagree.
I’m talking about civil discourse. The president of Georgetown University expressed it well this week. In a letter to his students, John J. DeGioia said, “We have learned through painful experience that we must respect one another and we acknowledge that the best way to confront our differences is through constructive public debate. At times, the exercise of one person’s freedom may conflict with another’s. As Americans, we accept that the only answer to our differences is further engagement.”
I want that engagement to be civil. How about you?