The Truth is Somewhere in the Middle


Editorial, Politics / Thursday, March 30th, 2017

The world as it is today could not be more divided. There is no issue that does not have at least two opposing camps unwilling to compromise. The facts are manipulated and statistics normalised, and what is left is a haze over reality. What I have realised from looking at opposing sides is that the truth is somewhere in the middle.

My views are generally pretty close to centre, whilst leaning to the left. My curiosity on the other hands is much more extreme. I like to go left and right of centre as far and often as possible. I do this because those at the fringe are unlike me, and their difference attracts me. As a writer of fiction I also do so to build character profiles.

Time and time again I think about an issue, look at the outlets I trust and then go in search of more and more extreme views. What I have found is that there is often a kernel of truth in the rantings of even the most extreme view.

There are countless clips on YouTube of a far left person arguing with a far right and the far right person coming out the victor. The reverse is true also, but considering my left leaning this is the most interesting. What strikes me is that the left holds itself as being of fact and knowledge but really just regurgitates talking points.

Take the abortion issue, my belief is that it should be legal but it is more complicated than a women’s right to choose. If you watch pro-choice people argue their point, it is clear they often haven’t thought about it past its my right. They also haven’t stopped and thought about what the other person is saying. This is the key problem, they believe so strongly in their cause they negate opposition.

What is an incredibly complex topic is boiled down to I’m a women you have no right over my body. While this is a true statement it does not in my belief completely encapsulate the issue. That is where the failing of discussion happens. The knee jerk reaction when the far righter says there’s more to it is to either reply you’re a sexist or again its my body my rules.

In this we see the side of “tolerance” being intolerant because the other person is a male or dissenting.  That is when we hit a non compromising position. The emotions of the situation rises and we as a species are all the worst for it.

Is dialogue not key to managing disagreements. As far as I’m aware my more liberal friends proclaim that we should be able to talk about all issues, and not be censored. How is this not a reversal of that?

Both sides in this case are unable to stop and understand, both sides will throw out meaningless fact. They are meaningless because the look through a narrow lens and often clip the subject.

This has become such a problem because this polarised nature only creates more polarisation. In any issue I like to think you have 3 groups. The first is for the issue at hand, they are 100% onboard and cannot be swayed. The second are those against the issue, again 100% against and cannot be swayed. Then you have the third and in my opinion most important and they are the  undecided.

The undecided are who make the decisions in most cases, they usually are the majority. Now there are different variants of undecided, people closer to one side or the other. They are the middle and they are where the truth is.

Through conversation with these people, opposed to against your enemy, is where you get consensus. Having a conversation with these people creates a better political and social environment. The way we communicate now leaves only opposition as an alternative option. The undecided either gets annoyed by one side or they become disengaged. This usually leaves for uneducated and polarised individuals.

Its better to pick a side then continually hear an argument.

What can we do?

What ever your side, how ever extreme your views there is nothing more important than putting yourselves in someone else shoes. Understanding, without judgement, its not agreement but it is respect.

As an example I am an atheist, I can also put myself into the mind of someone who is religious. Understanding their thought process even though it is worlds apart from mine. It allows me to not hold a grudge and have more thought out discussions. That my comments are not issue based but reasoned.

The truth lies in the middle of spin, and if you are on either side of the argument ask yourself how true are your words. Bias creeps slowly and has a powerful hold. It is your responsibility to dismantle it yourself before you accuse others of having it.

The truth is in a death spiral, it is the fault of both sides of politics and discussion. Where will you be as the tombstone is erected? Will you be fighting for truth or against them?

Byron

Byron

2 thoughts on “The Truth is Somewhere in the Middle

  1. Hey Byron,
    I have a question for you, that will probably lead to even more questions…

    What is truth? Who gets to say what truth is? Since truth is different for different people, who moderates the conversation between left and right? The centre has its own truth, and will lean in the direction of the side that comes closer to their views.

    My answer is “All truth is relative, and changes more often than an actor in a play.” And that is why most people yell and shout their truth, because it is just as true, relatively speaking, as the other side’s truth is to them. For me, the centre holds no more right to say what is true than either side. Fence sitting is more a sign of stagnation than it is of moderating left and right. Your stuck on the fence because you do now know which side you are going to agree more with. The example of abortion , to me, was a bad choice, because the truth is no man can stop a woman from getting an abortion UNLESS he ties her down and force-feeds her. There, I just proved that all rules are made to be broken. I say a truth within seconds of stating all truth is relative, so there is no truth. But it is still relative to whether the woman jumps off a chair and intentionally has a miscarriage, or whether she goes to a doctor whom she demands to be given an abortion.
    One thing I will agree to, if you are willing to agree with anything I say to you, is that there is more falsehood than truth in this word. History is made by the winner. Truth is made by the louder voice. That’s why I dwell so far left the lefties can’t see me. I live my truth, and no one else’s. And that’s the truth, Byron, did I knock you off your fence?

    1. As far as I see there are two types of truth the first is truth garnered through research. Which whole not fool proof is the one I rely on more. Than there are social truths which we argue about and are only true while we believe them.
      The fact that you align centre with fence sitting is precisely why there is such caustic discussions in politics. For me the centre mean being will to change your mind on a subject of a better option comes along. Being results focussed related than ideology focussed. Also being close to centre does not mean I don’t hold things I feel is true, I do and will fight for them. I have just seen that there is more complexity than just talking points of both far right and left.
      The abortion issue I see as this, a women should have the right to choose. But to say that this is the only element of the conversation does not allow for a discourse. And the reaction to it makes people more ardent in their rebuttal. Another reason why the far left/right hold no desire. Speaking specifically of abortion was illegal the number would drop significantly, not 100% success but better than what currently happens. So you can outlaw it but like every law not all will adhere. This is not my view I think it should be accessible but I think your view is very narrow and individualistic.
      I was never on the fence to be knocked off but good try

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