The Importance of Disagreement
& how American Progressives & the Democratic Party need marriage counseling, shared custody, and co-parenting
Groups that are fairly inflexible on disagreement, and extremely inflexible on disagreement amongst it’s leadership:
- political parties
Disagreement is a vital part of progressive growth, healthy community, and respect.
This last DFL Convention left a really nasty taste in my mouth. It grossed me out in many ways.
I did not see room for disagreement at April’s District 8 DFL Convention.
I’ve been politically involved for about 2 years now. I’ve worked my way up to State DFL Delegate. My initial motivation was simple: add my voice to a circle where I believed I could make the most impact. I saw the DFL party and myself as having similar values, and as a marketer, I saw them as having the best brand recognition for moving my values forward. The only real problem I initially saw was: the candidates weren’t often enough female (or even non-white / non-male). I believe the path towards a better world comes through leadership equity across demographics.
There are a few naive flaws in my previously mentioned MO. The most blatant being that my voice cannot be heard in a group of people who are only listening for agreeable words. This goes for the DFL elect and the progressives who distance themselves from them. The 8th District DFL Convention was the most unabashedly careless I have ever seen the either sect be. Careless, meaning lacking care for one another. There is not deep listening. There is not consideration for alternate opinions. There is not room for disagreement.
When there isn’t room for healthy disagreement, you’re flirting with dangerous tendencies. In a world without disagreement... facts lack importance (“fake news”). In a world without disagreement... constructive debates don’t happen. Without debating... “normalcy” is never challenged, and homogeneity takes over. The most non-threatening risk of homogeneity, is stagnation. I do not want to live in a world of stagnation (let alone the numerous more threatening risks of homogeneity).
Every elected official shouldn’t agree with each other, yet there they were (and are).
How can we find positive growth as a community if we continue following each other’s very same footsteps? I want an ecosystem that is fertilized for growth. I want a political environment that encourages discourse.
And then - if that isn’t enough to ask - I want all progressives to realize that we need each other, and thus, we need to respect each other.
And now is when I get to the metaphor..
DFL Officials - it is time to formally recognize that your party is dividing. We need to maintain our unity to keep our power and numbers.
Independents: don’t disband. We all need each other to fight for our shared values. We ought to hold on to the brand name that gets the big money and layperson votes.
We can all work together, but we need mediation and mutually agreed upon restructuring to do so. We need open communication and honesty and respect.
Let’s stick together for the kids (51% of American Voters who didn’t vote for Trump). We could continue to bicker through texts, and blame each other on social media until all of our mutual friends “unfollow” us, or we could work on this shit and split custody on holidays… Who knows… maybe one day we’ll even vacation together and smile while little Miss Future America gets her first sunburn... because we’ll know our compromise means she gets decent, public healthcare. Letting go of our egos and every other weekend was truly worth it…
My instinct is to run far away; that I cannot make any impact in a culture so mechanical. My heart says to stick around. My mind tells me to bring my authentic self to these events and continue seeing this world through as unbiased eyes as I can maintain… because it’s worth it.
If there are haters hoping this is an exit call. Keep hoping. I’m not going anywhere.