In the aftermath of the recent debt ceiling/government shutdown kerfuffle, I think its safe to say that many Americans have decided that either Obama or the Tea Party will eventually destroy the USA. I am on the fairly liberal side of that equation but, with a brother who’s a history buff, I try to take the long view. Like the Know-Nothings and McCarthy, the extremists will flame out and we will move on, slightly embarrassed that we were so upset.
However I do think its important to listen to all perspectives and that’s where Facebook has come in handy. My close friends and family all share my politics which makes dinner pleasant but also cuts me off from the other side of the debate. But if I’m ever curious about what the right is think, I only have to wait for a Facebook post from my cousin. Sometimes his posts make me want to unfriend him (is that a word?) but I always pause. Why should I? This is like a window into a world I never see, a way to see if I have been missing anything…nope. He’s wrong.
Anyway, I sometimes hear about how social media is cutting us off from each other and all the old social institutions that brought people together are falling away, leading us to talk with and listen to only those who agree with us. So, here’s how I can say in one small way I going against that trend. And, he’s my cousin. When people let politics trump family, civil wars happen. Maybe Facebook isn’t the place for substantive discussion (actually, I am pretty sure it’s not) but its is one of the new modes of communication, and why should I cut myself off?