I used to love politics. Not as much today. Over time, aided by the power of reason and the ability to hold two sides of an argument in my mind at the same time, I’ve lost the enthusiasm I once had. But one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to agree with a particular perspective in order to see the logic behind it. The point is that points can always be made in favor or against most issues or candidates. Good writing makes that dichotomy possible — and good writing is not exclusive territory to either liberal or conservative theology.
Changing opinions begins by recognizing the rationality of the opposing point of view. If you can’t see where other people are coming from, you’ve got no chance to take them anywhere.
Effective political writing depends on the skillful manipulation of truth, lies, and facts to a smaller or greater degree on behalf of any candidate or issue. Even in causes where popular support is overwhelming, there is an argument to be made from the opposing side. Listen to it before you respond to it. Blind support or protest is no way to further the debate.
- If you only listen to that which supports your point of view, you’ll never grow within it or beyond it. There comes a time when re-evaluation of the facts either emphasizes an accepted truth or casts greater doubt on it; in some cases, even refutes it entirely. If you close your mind to opposing viewpoints, you shut down active thinking.
- One side says, “There must be losers.” Some defend the notion that there are people in our society who just can’t or won’t evolve to become successful. Losers are simply byproducts of natural selection on an economic scale. Short-sighted as this argument may be, there’s no shortage of quality writing in support of it.
- Another side says, “There must be no winners.” This argument has been used to attack many of those who work tirelessly to achieve, branding them undeserving winners of life’s lottery. We know that isn’t always the case. This viewpoint may look good on paper from a purely intellectual perspective, but that doesn’t mean it’s practical.
Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Gerald Northup has written professionally in the fields of advertising, marketing, social media, and corporate communications since the early ’90s. For a look at his blog posts and social media articles, as well as TV, radio, print, and website samples from his online portfolio, visit gnorthup1979.wix.com/44words.
Jerry is also a talented guitarist, an avid tennis player, and a lifelong student of linguistics.
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