For anyone who hasn't encountered steel and straw arguments, these correlate to the best and worst rationalizations we make of another's point of view. Perhaps taking a step back to earnestly evaluate steel and straw positions in the Blue vs. Red climate we live in, can help us understand, process, and, in the end, heal open wounds in our communities.
One straw rationalization for liberal positions seeks to equate the movement to the transformation from a strict, Christian nation into a land of degenerate, godless, socialism.
A steel case for liberalism is to regard their efforts as a compassionate pursuit of prosperity and peaceful liberty for all. The positive implementation of science and policy can provide a path to a more peaceful society while building a greener environment.
On the other hand, a straw rationalization for conservative positions is to imagine their movement harbors the desire for theocratic rule with white supremacist undercurrents akin to the Handmaid's Tale.
A steel argument for the conservative point of view involves the pursuit of a society that encourages learned, absolute moral behaviors. This includes the idea that liberty and economic success stem from traditional beliefs and adherence to the rule of law, which conservatives feel has become too lenient.
To be sure these are arguments are incomplete and comprise the mere beginning of a thought experiment to seed understanding. Indeed, each of us can learn something by extending this exercise to those around us that hold different political positions. If we are less in a hurry to label another's ideology as evil, we just might find where our causes overlap, and just maybe our leadership will step up to work to get us all involved in becoming part of imperfect remedies.
At the end of the day, this election day or otherwise, we are all human beings on a planet whose health is in question due to its occupation by billions of humans. Still, we can work together toward making the world a better place for both humans and the planetary ecosystem itself. No, we will never agree on every issue, and, in fact, we are all susceptible to seeking out scapegoats to cope with how we see the world going wrong. Sadly, these intolerant, misguided, black-and-white, (blue and red?) points of view are not fully real and no matter how much our social media silos tell us they are.
If we can admit that reality is steel-gray, full of people who are a bit scared and a bit courageous, a bit wise and a a bit ignorant, a bit selfish and a bit selfless, we just might be able to come together. Wielding compassion, education, effort, tolerance, that gray can become a pretty cool place to live for all.
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