Saturday, December 22, 2012

Good guys and bad guys

I got sucked into a couple of Facebook discussions yesterday, where I was quite promptly dismissed for "misguided liberal compassion".  You see, I was guilty of challenging a statement made by one of the persons on Facebook that the only things the government should fund are those that were listed in the constitution.  Oddly, in an early dialogue, this same person was mocking President Obama for no longer supporting the space program.  Seems for some the President can do nothing right!

I kinda chuckle when being called on the carpet as a misguided liberal.  Many years ago I presented to a group of retired gentlemen from a service organization on the mentoring program I was directing. After the presentation one of the guys asked me afterwards, "What are you, some kind of a 'do gooder'?"  The man sitting next to him then inquired of his club member, "And what are you, some kind of a do badder?"

If we are to quick to stereotype others into liberal and conservative camps, with one being all good, and the other evil, it doesn't make for a civil conversation or a willingness to compromise.  The more strident voices I heard on Facebook seemed to loath compromise and viewed Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner's willingness to flex on a possible tax increase as spineless.

This holiday season I'll be saying a prayer for our government leaders and those many Americans who are no longer open to change and compromise.  As my friend, Father Gregory Boyle often loves to say, there is no "us and them", there is only "us".

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