This evening I got a phone call from a woman from some Right to Life organization or the other. My response to her? I am not interested in listening. Click.
I understand the need to be active politically. I understand the responsibility, as well. I realize that political decisions made with or without my help can affect people I care about, so I do try to vote my conscience and my personal philosophy. I do not, however, enjoy politics.
I got to thinking, though, that while I do not want to discuss many of these issues with some political fanatic, who is not going to change my mind any more than I am going to change theirs, I would discuss them as a matter of personal philosophy. I have pretty liberal politics, but my personal philosophies tend (at least as I see it) to be fairly conservative. I lean a lot towards tolerance and the Golden Rule, and I would like others to treat me pretty well.
With the advent of mass media, people don't discuss these philosophies as much, and develop their own views through the discussions. They get brow-beaten by endlessly repeated commercials and other media. Brainwashed into thoughtless masses who vote some party line then don't understand when they - or their children - can't get medical care, or some other benefit.
Perhaps, the advent of the world wide web will, in some measure, facilitate that thoughtful discussion between curious and philosophical individuals, no matter how distant from one another they may be. Or maybe I'll just get overwhelmed by spam telling me how those kids these days don't even say the pledge any more...