False Dichotomies

I’m a bit tired of the Big Government v. Small Government debate, because obviously you can have a small government that’s horrible or a big government that is somehow benevolent, one really has nothing to do with the other. What we need, what the whole world needs, is better government. Governments which actually assess the problems and try to solve them. But, we’re a long way from that. Nobody’s even talking about that.
We love to frame things in absolute terms like that: right and wrong, good and evil, love and hate. It makes for a dumb argument because nobody thinks they are wrong, evil and hateful. Not even those people who are.
Dumb arguments aren’t going to get us anywhere. Obviously, we’re going to have arguments. Disagreements. Disagreements, when handled in a fair manner, can become debates, which can become conversations and there, at that point, they could actually open up to let some new ideas in and actually become problem solving sessions.
It doesn’t happen often. It appears that social media favors the two sided debates (red v. blue, capitalist v. socialist) when there are so many other possibilities, but that’s probably because it’s already deeply embedded in human culture. Fight or flight. There come moments when you have to make a quick choice and it has to be binary.
We are no longer ape men walking across the plain, hunting the zebras and running from the lions. We can take our time to talk things through seriously, widen the debate, and look at all sorts of possibilities.

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