Tonawanda News

Opinion

January 23, 2013

DUVALL: Becoming 'We The People' again

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — If the paralysis of Washington is ever to cease we must first find a way to break through this social pattern and again engage with the outside world.

The Internet was initially thought to be a brilliant way to exchange information with people from all over the world and from all walks of life. What it has turned into instead is a perfect way to find like-minded people and become even more insular than we were before. 

Think about it: Facebook has a “hide” function, allowing us to block postings from people to whom we feel some nominal social obligation, but whose politics or personal ticks irritate us — without their even knowing.

It begs a question: Are we hiding them or hiding from them?

We are not One Nation Under God. We’re 300 million people living inside the lines we’ve drawn to delineate ourselves from others, arguing about god and everything else under the sun.

There are certainly policy prescriptions that can help cure this ill. Resolving immigration and expanding gay rights will bring two groups out of the shadows and into the public square once and for all. His inclusion of Stonewall and the fight for marriage equality was a watershed moment and at the same time almost unsurprising. 

It stands as testament to the fact that things can change — that we can change. A decade ago it would have been unthinkable for a president of either party to mention gay marriage rights in an inaugural address.

And yet, it almost seems anti-climatic. 

What’s it worth being invited into the public dialogue if the conversation is so toxic, so disconnected and misinformed that it cannot produce a conclusive common purpose?

We’ve always been a diverse nation with a wide range of views and a raucous political system. But the vitriol the right feels for Obama — and the vitriol the left felt for his predecessor — makes any other debate impossible to have.

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Opinion
  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

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