Let’s Stop The Arguing

No one is wrong anymore.

Over the past 10 years or so, arguing has become America’s favorite pastime. Whether it’s politics, religion, sexual orientation, education, health care, or any number of other topics, people now wallow in bickering.

They do it on TV, Facebook, in online chat rooms, even in the waiting room at the oil change place. I witnessed the last one myself.

I can’t be the only one who’s sick of all the arguing.

If someone disagrees with someone else, they each just try to yell louder than the other.

People have always loved to take sides, but not so long ago, most who ventured into a public discussion about a topic at least knew something about one or both sides of an argument.

Now, not so much. Today, it seems that the side they take is based on what they would rather hear rather than on any fact checking or homework they did before they decided on a position.

From most of the national polls I’ve seen, this country is split right about down the middle. A little less than half are on the left, a little less than half are on the right. There are a few who refuse to claim either side.

The TV news networks are responsible for a lot of the arguing. Watching it is painful.

The hosts of the shows invite so-called experts on their programs and then they interrupt, contradict, and sometimes even insult their guests.

All of the networks are equally guilty of this and as a former journalist, I find it lowbrow and a cheap way to get viewers. And they have millions of viewers.

Real journalism in national news is now scarce. The days of someone going to the scene of a story and reporting only what they saw and heard, which is what a news organization is supposed to do, are long gone. Almost every national report I see now is peppered with or surrounded by opinions.

Don’t get me wrong, opinion is part of some media folk’s jobs. What you’re reading now is an opinion. But it’s my opinion, and it’s labeled as such. I don’t represent what I write in this space as anything else.

The news networks have turned their programming into nothing more than boxing matches with arguers taking the place of fighters.

Like a bout in the ring, people gather round to cheer on their fighter and then listen to the analysts tell us who landed the best blows and who won the fight.

What angers me the most is when a national tragedy occurs, people on both sides of the aisle use it as a platform to try and cram their ideology down everyone else’s throats.

Within minutes of an event, this happens on TV, social media and online. No one wastes any time.

It makes me sick.

It wasn’t so long ago that Americans came together and prayed after a terrible incident. If praying wasn’t their thing, they at least had positive thoughts for those who were affected by a tragedy. We came together because we were on the same team. We had each other’s backs.

Not anymore.

We are being divided by our enemies, but even worse, we are being divided by those who call themselves our leaders.

What does this say about us as a society? What are our children learning? If we step back from all of this and look at ourselves, are we proud of how we’re acting?

I’ve certainly offered my opinion on many things on more than one occasion in many venues, but I rarely do these days. It is almost impossible to have any type of civil discussion with anyone today without someone trying to shout you down.

No one wants to hear an opinion that’s not their own.

The biggest problem isn’t the opinions, it is the vitriol and sardonicism with which they are served.

I’ve wondered what those in other parts of the world now think of the United States. Not what they think about how we choose to operate, because I could care less about how they think we should conduct business in our country. But, I do wonder what they think of a nation, which once responded to significant problems with prayer, love, support, and cohesiveness, that now almost always responds with arguing, yelling, and violence.

Raising your voice doesn’t overcome a lack of facts or understanding.

But, to watch American news channels, you’d sure think that it does.

©2016 John Moore
To read additional blogs, visit johnmoore.net/blog

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