Saturday, May 06, 2006
KOOL AID MAN KNOWS NO POLITICS...
You've heard the phrase, havent you? "You're drinking the Hannity Kool Aid!", or the Limbaugh or this or that... What does it all mean?
It means opening up our pie holes really wide, digesting without prejudice what anybody, any book, any talk show or any news blog shoves down our throat and finally taking it all in as truth beyond reproach.
It is human nature to preach to our own choir, to associate with like-minded individuals, to listen and learn from entities we admire and to see ourselves in the image of that which we most yearn to be like. But when does this become a self-fulfilling prophecy of one's philosophy? Are we really enlightened by just listening to the sounds of our voices? or does it behoove us as a people to at LEAST consider opposing viewpoints no matter how across-the-grain to our own preference they may be?. This is my yoke in life. As a self-described libertarian information junkie I do two things as daily ritual. One is easy because I love it, ... the other is like walking on glass on my way to a backstroke swim in volcanic lava.
An example of my daily dose of mental food.
I jump to the CATO institute's web page and various government, military and independent news journals for updates. A quick scan of MSNBC, FOXNEWS, CNN and DRUDGE REPORT to see if I missed anything while I slept. During my mid-day break at the office I stroll into some hi-tech and music sites for my right-side-of-the-brain snack, as well as other more specific information places that give me deeper insight into whatever it is that interests me that day.... Finally, as desert I have a heavy "favorites" list I gauntlet through which enforces and re-enforces my beliefs, my credo,... as Neal Boortz says, my daily dose of the church of the painfull truth.
But then, it happens. Like a monster coming out of the closet when all is dark and quiet..., at around 9pm comes the dreaded homework,... doing the other side of the coin. Reading up on websites, blogs, journals, opinion commentary... all of which are diametrically opposed to everything I believe and hold as my mantra. Why do I go through this torture? Don Rumsfeld's favorite word,..to CALIBRATE.
Reading extremest agendas, far left or far right diatribes, and socio-liberal op-ed's, give me conviction. If I am afraid to calibrate my beliefs agains what MAY be a logical counter-point to my own idea, then my idea is not in very firm soil. If I am afraid to navigate the blogs of hate, racism, fear-mongering and socialism, then I cannot in truth calibrate the status of my moral spine.
Such tasks are not easy,.. I read blogs all day and in most of them, you look at the far right column where they pop links to THEIR favorites sites... and its all drinking the KOOL AID, listening to the echoes of that which they already believe. Anchoring their shaky (or strong)beliefs with yet more of the same.
I encourage my fellow conservatives here at the "Soup", to venture out into the land of the unknown. You don't have to "embrace diversity"... you only have to acknowledge its existence, respect that it has a right to share the opinion spectrum with yours, and -if at the end of the day-, you are of the same mind,.... you can say , "thanks but no thanks",... I've decided NOT to embrace YOUR idea of diversity. But you will be a better person because you have CONSIDERED thoughts that diverge from your own. There is a saying.."that which does not kill you makes you stronger".
To know the ingredients of soup that is not in your kitchen is to be a better cook for your own recipes. Sometimes we should stop drinking the Kool Aid of choice... and get a little TANG every once in awhile. We may hate the taste, but coming back to our favorite dish will be all the more rewarding.