Being critical of ourselves: American politics and The Establishment

What you are seeing right now is The Establishment at work.

This is what I’ve been waiting for. The Republican National Committee taking its power, its money, its influence and saying “not this guy.”

I did not know it would come in the form of Mitt Romney. But pay attention, because there is more to come. The Republicans may have been late to the Presidential Nominee game in my opinion, but make no mistake that they have picked a pony (Rubio) and they will employ every tactic necessary to make sure he shines. You’ll see sleeker outfits, more elaborate stage set ups, and an astonishing influx of Marco Rubio’s face all over our news cycles.

I don’t love that politics is this demonstrative in the background, but I do recognize it. I see its power and I understand that this is part of campaigning. They’re campaigning for your trust. All of Them. Be critical. Even of the stuff you believe. Read the opinions of the folks on your Facebook feed who anger you. Try to keep an open mind, asking yourself why it angers you. Is it fear? Is it logic? Where is that logic based? Is it what your parents have always said? Is it what you hear at your job? Could your opinion be changed, and what would that look like? Would it matter who said the thing that influences you?

We can all be influenced. We all have morals and values deeply our own.

Pay attention. Be critical. Instead of jumping straight into a politically-based argument, stay silent for a few steps longer than you normally would. Then let your first step in be a question. And not a rhetorical one, but a question that asks for clarification. Demand answers, but be open to listening to all the facts that come from the answer, even the ones you don’t believe.

Pause. Read again. Walk away. Come back, and read again.

Ask questions.

Be critical.

Even, and especially, of yourselves.

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