An “Anti-Debate” on our future

 
If you are sick of the garbage on Facebook these days, don’t blame your friends and neighbors and cranky uncles and strange nephews.
 
Is it really our fault for buying into the horse$— that our leaders are trying to feed us? Especially when they do their best to put whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherries on it to make it look like something we’d want?
 
Most political debate right now doesn’t involve debate at all. Rather than having a discussion on common ground (ie, debate) both sides throw out carefully crafted facts meant to speak to their supporters… while ignoring most of the rest of what the other side says. Our country is having the opposite of debate, an anti-debate on our future.
 
Candidate A: The sky is blue and anything else is a lie!
Candidate B: The grass is green and anything else is a lie!
This election cycle has also resoundingly set aside the wonderfully American cornerstone that “we’re all Americans, exchanging ideas to the betterment of our country” and put into the mainstream the long-festering notion that “if you don’t vote with my side, you are a bad person.”
 
Candidate A: Blue sky and B has done horrible things!
Candidate B: Green grass and A has done horrible things!
Candidate A: B IS A TERRIBLE PERSON and so are B’s fans
Candidate B: A IS A TERRIBLE PERSON and so are A’s fans
Candidate A: YELLLLLL!!!
Candidate B: YELLLLLL!!!
 
This ginned up hatred makes it difficult for many of us to see the truth. When you hate something, you’re willing to believe anything about it, even outrageous nonsense.
 
After the debate, I wrote we get the leaders we deserve. This is true to the extent that if most of us thought a little more, with a little less hatred, we wouldn’t be in this nightmare.
 
But overall, I think the truth is more scary– our leaders are a reflection of us. Maybe a fun house mirror reflection sometimes, but a reflection none the less.
 
I do think that this will be the most important vote I have ever cast, and I do, very calmly, believe there is a better candidate among the two. I also think that anyone who sees this status as an opportunity to say “That’s why my candidate is better!” is part of the problem.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. The operator of Buffalo Stories Tours writes about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo special at blog.buffalostories.com and daily at buffalonews.com/history. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and spent 20 years working in Buffalo radio and TV, climbing his way to news director at WBEN Radio. Since then, he's been an adjunct professor and produced PBS documentaries. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.