Politics has become very confrontational these days, so much so that the Congress would rather provoke the opposition with tirades rather than work together to actually accomplish something. Even a watered-down improvement in a major issue is likely to be better than inaction.
Most of us know that when a business meeting, city council meeting, or family discussion turns into exaggerations and shouting matches, nothing good will come out of it. Protestors and members of Congress seem to have forgotten this.
In a Facebook discussion yesterday, I got into a debate with somebody who said we are duty-bound as citizens to become counter-protesters whenever a group we despise holds a rally or a “parade.” I disagreed. When certain groups, and their opposites, meet on a city street, the result is shouting. By itself, that accomplishes nothing. Sometimes it leads to violence and property destruction. The news media has a field day and the group that scheduled the march gets a lot of publicity.
I would rather ignore them. Let them have a march that’s met with absolute silence. That hardly makes the news. I grew up in a county where the KKK had a march about once every month or so. Those who supported the KKK stood and watched them go by on the street. Those who didn’t support them stayed away. The result: the news media had nothing to report and nobody got killed or arrested.
Then, as now, anyone yelling verbal threats at the marchers (or getting in their faces) is committing a crime (assault). Is it worth getting arrested to tell members of a group one doesn’t like that they’re really full of it? That’s what they want you to do. That gives them news coverage and lends some of their opposition in jail. Who’s the winner here?
When this kind of thing happens, we all lose. Instead of dialogue that might lead somewhere, we maintain the angry status quo where nothing gets fixed.