Mel Wild has a post that we all ought to read. Why? Well, like insanitybytes I don’t entirely agree with it (see => https://melwild.wordpress.com/2021/01/22/this-is-the-greatest-time-for-the-good-news/#comment-25142). Nevertheless, Mel makes several points that are full of insight.
1. Liberals and Conservatives are more alike than different. We all want freedom and life. What we share in common makes it possible for us to communicate.
2. When we communicate, we have to get to the heart issues. Without ever addressing the desires, fears, loves, and hatreds that reside within our hearts, we spend a lot of time arguing about the means we choose to gain our ends. Yet until we address the heart issues, we cannot resolve our differences.
3. We were all made in the image of God. We all need the Gospel of Jesus. He provides the only path to freedom and life.
Why don’t I entirely agree with Mel? I doubt that even Mel believes that EVERYONE wants freedom and life. Most of the “truths” that we come up with are only partly or largely true. That is, the assertion that all Liberals and Conservatives want the same things but for different reasons is only partly true.
Consider. What does Satan want? Does Satan want freedom and life? Probably not, but would he tell us what he does want? How many of us have adopted Satan’s desires as our own, but would those who have have adopted Satan’s desires as their own tell us the truth?
Do we even define the terms “freedom” and “life” the same way? No. Some see freedom as freedom from sin. Others see freedom as the ability to do anything they wish to do. Some see life as eternal life with our Maker. Others desire eternal health and youth in this world.
How we define the terms “freedom” and “life”, however, is a heart issue. Therefore, to give Mel credit, in order to begin resolving our differences, we must begin at the heart level.
While we’re currently living in a very politically divisive and emotionally charged time, there was never a time in our lives when the Gospel message was more relevant. Why? Because every human actually wants the same two things. They just go after them in very different ways. Everyone wants freedom and life, and Jesus gives us both of these in spades!
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Good post, Tom, great reblog! I enjoyed Mel’s post. Do you remember those “man on the street” interviews? They’d read a quote and claim it was from a favored politician. If it was attributed to “your guy,” people would agree, but if it was attributed to the other guy, they’d disagree. The point being people can be so tribal, they don’t even examine the substance of their beliefs anymore, they just align themselves with the team colors.
I’m reading and hearing a lot of buyer’s remorse only a few days later. One really doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Ultimately, underneath it all, I think we’re far more united in this country than we realize, many of us are just really brainwashed. I got an urgent email from some “pro-life Biden supporters,” all horrified and shocked and I just wanted to whack my head on the wall. I felt more charitable about it all after reading the NY Times, something about how Biden is the most relgious president ever elected and totally supports Catholic values. I guess if you really, really want to believe things like that and you confirm your biases with fake news articles, it makes more sense.
I think lots of people go for the guy with the biggest megaphone. Lots of people voted for Biden just because that is what the news media told them to do. Lazy!
You’re right, Tom. People fall for the guy with the biggest megaphone. Seems to me Trump had the biggest microphone for the last four years…. and 74 million people followed it.
Thanks for the re-blog, Tom!
First, I answered IB’s objections in much more depth in the following comment which I won’t elaborate on here.
But you are free to disagree. 🙂 I would like to elaborate here on the points you made.
The similarities between Conservatives and Liberals, I believe, is a critical point we need to understand. Dennis Prager (PragerU) says we should stop calling liberals leftists. Liberals are actually very much like conservatives: both traditionally are patriots, both love their country, what freedom, etc. Many of our great presidents were liberal, like FDR. They just have a different way of going about bringing freedoms than the great conservatives, like Reagan, for instance. Liberals think the Constitution is more progressive, changing with the times. Conservatives want to preserve the truths and treat it more literally. Both hold the Constitution in high regard.
But a true Leftist, on the other hand, embraces Marxist ideology (constant struggle between classes, races. etc.) and Socialism. Unlike the conservative or liberal, they don’t love our country or our Constitution, but want to tear down this structure for, ultimately, a communist form of government (in its many variations). It’s leftist ideology that gives us cancel culture and censoring free speech, not conservatives, and certainly not the traditional liberal. The traditional liberal has always championed free speech. Martin Luther King championed making race distinction obsolete, which both liberals and conservatives embraced. BLM activists, trained in Marxism, want the opposite, making race the issue and even promoting segregation in colleges, etc. That is certainly NOT a liberal idea.
So, I think we confuse our positions by conflating liberal and leftist together. I don’t believe that liberals are the conservative’s political enemy. I believe that we can find a LOT of commonality between conservatives and liberals, and unite on what is actually tearing our country apart. That’s my hope and prayer, anyway. Because the real threat to America is not liberal or conservative ideas, it’s Marxist ideology, and the anarchy that attends to that, which is why, as we pointed out in your last post, there’s very little difference between communists, Antifa, and neo-Nazis. They are neither true conservatives or liberals.
To perhaps be more clear, the greatest threat, if you will, is an imposition that requires a change in our Constitution that serves to “modify” or eliminate our rights… to form another kind of government. No need to bury it all in ideological labels for warm fuzzies. The bottom line remains.. usurping the Constitution is my personal line in the sand. But by that I do not mean the typical blathering political rhetoric where one side accuses the other of “shredding the Constitution”. I am talking any one or any group defining itself on the overthrow of the Constitution… in any context.
I would agree with that. The issue really is the threat of eliminating our rights. This is a key, I think, in bringing our country back together from such divisiveness and political polarization. It’s certainly a more relationally mature approach.
We also need to understand that when people are angered, even infuriated by not being heard, they really are lashing out because of fear of losing these rights. So it would be helpful to see past the partisan rhetoric and come to some agreement on what the core issue actually is. Then we can both come together, dismantling our political straw men, and unite against any overthrow of our constitutional rights, whether it comes from the extreme right or extreme left (because they’re both pretty much the same enemy). Just like in any healthy marriage, where two opposites come together to cover each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we need both the conservative and liberal voices to make for a healthy society. That’s what made the two party system work until the last two or three decades of polarization,
“We also need to understand that when people are angered, even infuriated by not being heard, they really are lashing out because of fear of losing these rights.”
That is actually one of the seeds of change. Think 1776. But to your point here, we also need to consider how the people have been inspired to display their anger… what (who?) is compelling them to get infuriated? What’s the origins of their anger. More to your point.. how have “they” not been heard and who exactly were “they” crying out to, to begin with? We have been talking about fear… so what is the fear they are feeling… and how do we address that fear.
Then we can also ask.. are these people with these fears organized to focus their concerns according to legal means to be taken seriously or are they just a collection of political radical diversity looking for attention through violence?
I might wager that there could very easily be multiple “core” issues at play, depending on personal or even group , priorities and agendas. Absolutely no question that if you ask each person who invaded the Capitol building, be it 100 or 800 (or whatever the latest estimate is), each will have their own reason for being there. We certainly can generalize the catalyst was what they perceive to have been a fraud election. Although some intended, it seems, hell-bent on more dastardly deeds.
I sense this all was far more about following a “Pied Piper” than individual thought.
Is that pied piper is the mainstream news media? Donald Trump runs for president as a Republican, and suddenly, once he gains the nomination, he becomes a Nazi.
This is not new. Do you remember what Biden said about Romney? Going to put blacks back in chains. Probably going to beat them up and tie them to the roof of his van with the dog too?
Don’t you feel the least bit relieved that the daily chaotic pressure and unpredictable behavior of Trump is gone?
Which is why I “unloaded” it on you.
And you are one of my fellow Americans? The development of toilets and sewage treatment is the most significant environmental achievement to date. Yet you clowns unload everywhere and still claim to be environmentalists.
Ha! That was funny.. I smirked here in front of God and everyone! 🙂 (not a sarcasm smirk either)
Clear? What are you talking about? Obama and now Biden issue executive orders that should require Congressional approval, that os, a law or treaty ratification. When has Trump done anything like that?
The Paris Accords do not need Senate advise and consent because the agreement makes no legal binding obligations or requirements of any nation. By comparison, the Kyoto Protocol required binding requirements (with penalties for non-compliance)… which Congress never approved. Other than that, not sure what “Trump reversals” required Congressional “permission”.
Then what good is it? Why the fuss about a meaningless agreement?
Jeez, Tom. It surely was important enough for Trump to get us out of it. Why not ask him?
You ought to defend your own argument, but you cannot do so. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Paris-Agreement-2015
Unknown whether Biden yet wants to re-enter the Open Skies Treaty Trump arbitrarily pulled out of… even though there might be some question as to needing another Senate approval to go back. But.. seems Trump’s decree was illegal given he never gave Congress the required 120 day (why am I not surprised) advance notice that he was pulling the plug, so approval may not be required.
Yeah.. so what? Seems what Trump did was illegal in not informing Congress. Regardless.. doesn’t it raise a question that we get out of a program that allows us to fly over the entire bulk of Russia simply because they (allegedly) prohibit us from flying over a small section in and around Crimea and Georgia? Doesn’t make much sense to me from a strategic sense. I am guessing this was an easy bone to throw to the public showing how Trump was being “harsh” on Russia.
Keeping in mind that from its original inception as a unilateral treaty of international security openness, I would guess technology has rendered its original reasoning having any strategic value a bit obsolete.. and far more a symbolic value for openness in general. Although…. I also suppose there is a strategic intel value spying on the spying techniques of the fly over planes themselves. Works both ways.
You don’t know what you are talking about.
https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/openskies Notification in May and exit in November.
No, Tom… we were discussing Trump’s arbitrary removing us from the treaty to look good against Russia. This site says nothing to that. Although it’s a good source of understanding the process I was marginally aware of, it discredits nothing I said… or speculated.
While I consider Mel’s politics appalling (I’m not qualified to comment about his spirituality) I have to give him credit for at least attempting to solve the divisiveness. If he starts at the heart then the next would be both side confess their fears of the other…. because the fears divide.
Actually, you have a point, but I don’t think you understand how the Constitution was design to deal with that issue. It is the core reason we have a republic. We fear enslavement, even enslavement by the majority. Ask any black.
Consider this excerpt from The 1776 Report (=> https://citizentom.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/the-presidents-advisory-1776-commission-final-report.pdf).
All three of those rights are severely threatened today.
What am I afraid of? I am afraid of people who insist upon remaking the world into their perception of their own image. Some insist upon transforming others to suit themselves. To transform someone who does not want to be transform requires their enslavement.
As all things in life there are degrees… levels of what we perceive might affect us, from which we determine simple wariness or actual action to avoid. It’s the establishment of personal priorities on what we choose to fear. On the other hand.. many of us fall for the fears imposed by false prophets of fear. Call it “enslavement to fear” by the fears imposed from another. You want my fear “confession”? It was Trump, the person. Not his biased and warped ideolog or misdirected and imposed policies. Trump is gone.. and I am re relieved. Yet you, and other Trumpians, still hang on to the fear he’s imposed on you. Honesly.. all your “fears” are simply a collection of political blatherings from Democrats with little or no power to influence change.. and you assign that to the whole of the Democratic party… with Biden someone to fear to impose those fears. I don’t see it.
Do you know what cults of personality are based upon? Hatred. When Adolph Hitler rose to power, he ascended upon the backs of his enemies, the Jews and the Communists.
America First simply means we put our family, friends, and neighbors first. We don’t let politicians sell out the people we know so that Crony Capitalist can make cushy deals with China, Russia, Iran, and other foreign states. We don’t sacrifice living standards of our nation’s poor so that big corporate interests can import hordes of cheap foreign workers and Democrats can win elections using the votes ignorant people who know nothing of our history and cannot speak our language. We don’t put the political conniving of teachers unions before the educational needs of our children.
I could on and on. There is Big Tech censorship and news media lies. University attacks on freedom of thought. Hate speech and hiring codes that suppress religious belief,… But you fear Trump. That’s such a joke. You cannot even say what he has done to justify your fears. All you can say is that you fear him. That is nonsense!
Oh Tom.. we’ve been at this for nearly four years now. The man was a mental case from the beginning. A resume of an incompetent for being president, I feared his aberrant, malevolent, immoral behavior displayed through his campaign in 2016, which he consistently displayed up until the end in 2021… and proven by psych professionals… including his own niece.
For four years all you done is make nebulous complaints about Trump. If it were not for the fact that the world is filled with fatuous and unserious busybodies, I would have no reason to take you, tsalmon, or marmoewp seriously.
You listen to the loudest voices, voices like CNN and MSNBC, and they just slander and libel people. Therefore, when I ask for evidence, and you don’t seem to care, and when I present evidence you don’t seem to care. The voices from on high have spoken.
tsalmon is slightly more industrious. His favorite device is to cite an authority, preferably a RINO or phony Conservative.
And what does marmoewp do? He finds “facts” that either affirm his own case or prove the deniers are lying. Thing is that his facts are so selective that they don’t prove what he wants them to prove. He find one tree, a pine tree and then proceeds to call a forest of oak trees a pine forest.
Sadly, when you all insist that the oak forest is made up of pine trees, it is not entirely your fault. If all you know about the forest is what the news media say about it, you need to take a hike in the woods.
It is time you got some exercise.
The interesting observation for me the last four years is that when I have given my reason for “hating” Trump as president in here and in other Conservative blogs, as being his complete mental dysfunctionalism and sociopathic misbehavior, a behavior predictable to ill-conceived results, supported by many in the psych community, including his professional niece, the response has been the same….. crickets. Or in your case, my apparent and consistent “nebulous” reasoning simply because Trump supporters don’t want to acknowledge it. Much easier to ignore his aberrant behavior and assign the misguided “but look at all the good he’s done”, and make him.. and themselves… as victims of some grand “unjust” conspiratorial pogrom.
Sorry, Tom, he self-destructed himself and took his supporters with him, to their shock and awe.