Friday, September 18, 2009
Education, veterans and beyond

 

Our big What If? special is in its second week and we couldn't be happier with the response we've gotten so far. We've explored education and veterans' issues, and are now challenging iReporters to go out and find common ground with someone who has opposite political viewpoints. It should be a fun assignment, and we're looking forward to what you come up with.

 

Also, if you haven't marked October 10 in your calendar, do it now! We’re asking iReporters all over the world to donate a few hours or money to a cause of their choice, document their volunteer efforts, and post their photos and videos here on the site.

 

If you're looking for volunteer opportunities near you, VolunteerMatch, Network for Good and serve.gov may be good places to start. We can’t wait to see what we'll accomplish together!

12 Comments
September 21, 2009
Click to view sgtraff's profile

Ike said,"Never send an American land force to fight on the Asian continent."  The Soviet Union was destroyed by the same tactics we are using today in Afghanistan.  Let's all stop the craziness.  We have a great country to protect and build.  Let us go forward and be wise and not backwards and be foolish like the Soviet Union.

September 22, 2009
Click to view tireworld's profile

I have many friends with differing political viewpoints.  The main advantage we have over Congress and the media is a deep respect for one another.  We may think the other foolish for holding certain views, but we'll never say that to each other, because there are perfectly valid reasons for holding the views that we do.

 

The commentary posted that said that we all need to quiet down and listen to one another, rather than just yelling at the top of our lungs all day was dead on.  The problem is that we wouldn't hear all the yelling if it wasn't aimed at cameras and into microphones.  The yelling of commentators, pundits, and, these days, politicians, does little to advance the public discourse and debate on issues.  The era of responsible journalism seems to have given way to the loudest voice that sells the most ad time.

 

There are few in the country that would disagree that ensuring health coverage for every American is a noble ideal to which we should aspire.  Those few seem to dominate all of the headlines and airtime, and fail to add anything more than fearmongering to the debate. 

 

And they're on both sides of the debate, too.  You can't seriously brand everyone who doesn't support the Health Care Bill in its current form as "heartless" or "racist."  It simply isn't true, and it is used as a dodge by people who want something, but clearly don't understand what they want or what it will cost them.  They also add nothing to the debate and, when all is said and done, their ignorance also undermines the cause that they support so vocally.

 

There are far more people that believe that the idea is workable, but hasn't quite been explained in a completely satisfactory manner, or may need a tweak here and there.  These are people asking tough questions that haven't been answered because they haven't been heard over the yelling done by both extremes on the issues.

 

Your government can be questioned and their authority can be challenged just by simply asking questions, and more importantly, listening for the answers.  Be open to admit you may be mistaken and that someone may have a better idea.

 

People have a long history of believing what they believe without knowing why they actually believe the way they do.  In addition to listening for the valid questions and answers, people need to be a little more introspective and determine why they actually believe the things they do and question themselves, rather than just screaming from the mountaintops.

 

There are a lot of ways that we can become a better country and solve the massive problems laid out before us.  But if we cannot become a collaborative country and use the best and brightest ideas we have from ALL sides of the debate, every solution will just lead to more problems.  More yelling.  More extremism and labeling.  More divergence.  More unrest.

September 26, 2009
Click to view ayodeji's profile

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