Opt out of da noize


We’re in the middle of an election season in Minnesota and across the USofA.  Everything is certain to become hotter, more partisan, and much louder.  I think there’s only one course of action for people who care about our state, our nation, and our planet:

Opt out.

No, I’m not calling for people to boycott elections or debates or politics in general.  I want to see something far more active bubbling under the noize.  I’d like for everyone who reads Barataria to reach out and spend at least 30 minutes talking to someone they are sure they disagree with politically.  Why?  Because I’m guessing that you’ll find something you agree with if you let it roll.

I think the political division is now between those who shout and those who do not.  Call it Angries versus Worriers.  Find your opposite, left or right, and tell me you didn’t find something you agree with.

The Angries are a people we see on the nooze a lot – those who carry signs and engage in big protests.  Sometimes they are leftist protests but usually it’s the right who are in the street.  What counts is that there are people in the streets who are sizzling with a rage against the big machines of our life.  Some talk about big government and some talk about big business, but all are angry that our Way of LifeTM is threatened by forces far beyond anyone’s control and want to strike back.

The Angries, regardless of where they come from, want to fight against Big something.

Worriers are the ones we don’t hear a lot about.  They are the new Silent Majority and are usually very silent.  Few really trust that government is the solution to anything, but very much want to see our state and nation put onto a course that makes sense.  Worriers fear the Angries and wish that someone competent would step up and start putting things right.  Some Worriers are very conservative and worry mostly about debt, but many worry about the people who have been thrown out as garbage in a world that doesn’t value them anymore.

The Worriers, left and right, believe we have to start getting real and step up to a thoughtful, managed approach.

The divide comes down to a belief in either a kind of revolt or in our system.  It’s an opinion about our Way of LifeTM – whether or not you think we are a people of cool compromise and consensus or a people of conflict.  It’s the same divide that the Founders faced in the Continental Congress.

What I would like everyone to do is to pick your side based on what you think should happen next in society – be it more action and organizing or more cool, deliberate talk, and match that to your old-fashioned “left” or “right” identity.  Then, I’d like you to seek out someone from your traditional identity who seems to share your Angry or Worried approach and talk.  Talk like you’re old friends over lunch or coffee or a really long stream of twitter messages.

I think you’ll find you have a lot in common with people you never thought you would before.  I think you’ll find that the distinction between Angries and Worriers is far more interesting than the tired old approach that heats up the gab shows with a steady stream of manufactured conflict that sells less as info- and far more as -tainment.

Try it.  Please.  Opt out of the storm that is coming and reach out to someone you don’t even like.  I think you’ll be surprised.