Salmon Upstream, LLC

Developing and implementing real-world community solutions.

What did you expect?

Neither side is talking. They aren’t, and you aren’t either.

Now I am getting pissed, because you all are just going to sit around and be angry, point fingers, and call the other side names. Your not actually going do anything remotely effective about it,. Meanwhile things really are starting to circle the bowl.

The first thing I would ask is why you expect anything else. Why do you expect logic, rational discussion, or meaningful debate in an arena built upon conflict? I feel like that radar guy at Pearl Harbor.

Neither side is talking. They aren’t, and you aren’t either. They propose a plan, you say it’s the worst thing ever, and throw in some well-placed jabs, just for kicks. And then they say you are just full of it and don’t understand. And they hit back, because, well, you started it. Or did they start it? I can’t remember, and you probably can’t either.

I will use the National Endowment for the Arts as an example, but honestly all of it – international relations, healthcare, taxes, you name it – it’s all in the same sinking boat.

In an ideal world, we would evaluate the benefits of the things we do and weigh them against the cost. It’s true that the arts don’t feed the hungry or heal the sick, but there are unquestionable intangible – and very tangible – benefits. I don’t think anyone on either side of the table would question that. The discussion is more of where the money should come from. How much funding should be public, and how much should be private? Let’s talk about that.

Or not. Because we aren’t going to talk about anything. It’s us against them, me against you. Why would you think the people you said were a bunch of absolute idiots would just shrug and sit down at the table and chat it out amicably? Actions have repercussions. There are things you say that you can’t take back, that inflict a wound that will never completely heal.

We have to find common ground. We will never be able to compromise if we don’t foster mutual respect. We have to stop villainizing the other half, the ones who don’t see things exactly like us, who may have a different view, a different approach. Until we do that, you can write all the essays you want, you can make all of the clever memes, you can disrupt and argue and it will all do absolutely nothing but feed the fire that we collectively stoke.

Stop fighting and work to fix the system, dammit.