We could hold the 2020 Presidential election tomorrow because everyone of voting age made up their mind a long time ago.
Let’s do it. Then let’s take all the money that would’ve be spent in both campaigns over the next five months and use it to strengthen our anemic public health system. Or let’s give it to Dan, Dan, The Transportation Man to hire the newly unemployed to build new bridges, highways, and airports.
Our partisanship is so acute, everyone is an ideologue. Reported sightings of “moderates,” “undecideds,” “independents,” or “centrists” are a myth. There’s no color wheel, only deep red and blue.
I know this because I read your tweets, see your Facebook posts, and listen to you. And there’s one thing all of you have in common, you’re incredibly predictable. So much so, I know what you’re going to say before you say it. Because you’ve said it so many times before. I could write your tweets and Facebook posts and finish your arguments. You mistakenly think repeating yourself enough will cause others to “see the light” and suddenly adopt your way of thinking, voting, being.
Of course, a reader of the humble blog in recent months could say the same thing about me. That you know what I’m going to write before I write it. No subtly, no nuance. I am you.
When it comes to interpersonal communication, there’s nothing more counterproductive than the receiver thinking, “I know what you’re going to say before you say it.” Because instead of truly listening, they just wait, wait, wait for a slight pause to say what they wanted to all along.
Instead of trying to understand why others believe what they do, we just make the same assertions over and over as if we will wear down the other. But our approach is futile because our group affiliations are indestructible. Our team identities are set in stone.
What counts as political “dialogue” in these (dis)United States is a series of highly predictable mutual monologues on continuous loop. We’re stuck in the largest, most predictable, worst Zoom meet up of all time.
Time to “leave the meeting”.