Normally, I walk around in what I like to call a "Politics Free Zone" (the PFZ, for short). It roughly makes up the three square feet that surround me and while in it, I try not to talk about politics. The whole point of it is that, while I have my strong views on various subjects, and have registered with a certain political party in the US so that I can vote in primary elections, I do believe that we can all learn something from those we disagree with. Not all of my friends share my position or my party affiliation, and that's fine. My little zone allows me to see the person for who they really are. Sometimes I learn from them, and they from me.
Case in point that doesn't involve politics in any way:
In order to pass my black belt test, I was required to do a seated meditation for one hour. To meet this goal, I found some people who were also interested in meditation for whatever reason, and we contracted with my yoga instructor to help us get through a one-hour sit. All went well. We met regularly for several weeks, were introduced to various forms of meditation, and worked our way up to one hour.
The day of the scheduled meditation, a classmate and I were doing our sit in the hour that preceded our normal class in the classroom. In the last ten minutes or so, another black belt came into the class with a friend who was trying out TaeKwonDo. They saw us sitting, and instead of either 1) leaving the room out of respect for what we were doing (let's face it, the guy was a black belt and knew we were doing this for our test); or 2) preparing silently in a far corner of the room, the pair decided to giggle and carry on like school girls. To say we were furious was an understatement.
However, when I told my meditation teacher about the incident, I did not receive the sympathy I was looking for. She looked me right in the eye and said, "Now they are your teachers." Wow. Spot on, perfect, no-frills wisdom.
Now, I'm not saying that this will happen in all political debates. I am merely saying that we all have something to learn from unlikely sources, and that some of those sources are harder to listen to than others. We might get something back that we weren't prepared for, but that doesn't mean we should shut it out.
But right now, I'm stepping out of my PFZ, and this is what I have to say:
In terms of human rights: we are all people. All People deserve All Rights. Everywhere. Some are NOT more equal than others. If some were more equal than others, it would just make us pigs.
I am now back in the PFZ. I feel much better now.