Our community has spent the last several months arguing about the continued use of Round-Up to kill the weeds in our lakes. According to the HOA board of directors, who are definitely pro continuing the use of Round-Up, our monthly HOA fees will go up substantially if we change to the hand picked method. The use of Round-Up is alarming to me, but more alarming is the lost art of debate.
Each side has resorted to scare tactics in making their points, and their tones have become progressively more hostile. Somehow we have become a nation of people who can only see our own side of an argument and view those with contrary opinions as stubborn and/or lacking in intelligence. Since this particular chemical has been scientifically connected to cases of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in people who have used it directly over a period of time, I am leaning towards the “better safe than sorry” side. After all, it took them a long time to prove that second-hand smoke was as dangerous as smoking to those with continuous exposure. How many people faced cancer that might have been avoided?
This does not mean that I consider those on the other side of this issue less intelligent or intrinsically evil. Their points are well taken. A hefty raise in HOA fees could price some people out of the community or present difficulties when trying to sell our homes. I listened carefully to all they had to say, sorted the rational responses from the ranting, and came to my own conclusion.
If we could do this politically, imagine how much less stress we would all feel. If our representatives could listen to all sides and come to a rational decision that isn’t influenced completely by party affiliation, then we would live in a true democracy and make decisions in the best interest of all people, not just those with enough income to influence outcomes.
Whether you were an Obama fan or not, his desire to find compromise in his congress during the beginning of his first term was evident. Not only didn’t it work, but it set his own agenda so far back that he never really recovered. When a majority leader blocks discussion and refuses to allow a vote, no matter which party he represents, he is stomping on the document that our forefathers poured their hearts into, and their party needs to take action. Sadly, neither party seems to have the strength needed to fix our stalled congress. Too bad my former debate team can’t take over. Populated with liberals and conservatives, these young men and women learned to listen to each other and come up with true compromise. I have followed many of them through the years thanks to social media and am so proud to see that they are still able to accept both sides of most issues.
I have obsessed over a new found author over the last two weeks. I found Alan Lee’s novel, The Last Teacher: A Stand-Alone Mackenzie Mystery, read/reviewed it in two days, and went on to read the first two books in the Mackenzie Mystery series. Your turn.
As always A complete review of this book follows my blog.