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People are too sharply divided over issues

By Elizabeth Held
Monday, November 9, 2009

It’s 11 p.m. on Saturday night and where am I?

Lying on my bed watching live C-SPAN footage of the health care vote. I’m possibly the most boring person I know.

Regardless of what you think of the bill, this coverage is fascinating. I’ve watched The House of Parliament on C-SPAN. It’s hilarious watching British members of Parliament hurl insults at each other.
But this coverage is far from hilarious. It’s really anything but.

Hearing the people calling into C-SPAN (yes, apparently people do that, like on talk radio) makes me incredibly nervous.

Olga from Syracuse just screamed, “We’re going to be voting a lot of people [out of] Congress next year!” While a man in Florida defended the health care bill ardently.

You have to take into account that only a certain type of person would watch the health care vote. They must feel pretty strongly.

But that doesn’t make me feel any better.

It upsets me to see the vitriol that’s spewed day in and day out throughout the country. It’s as though the people on the right and the people on the left have forgotten if they have anything in common.

I was talking to one of my friends today who told me when filling out her roommate questionnaire the summer before her freshmen year, she almost wrote she couldn’t live with a Republican.

She didn’t and she was compared with one of the more conservative students here.

Three years later they’re still best friends.

I’ve said before that my best friend and I are on completely opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. Yet she’s still the person I turn to first when I need something.

I don’t want to sound like I’m against passionate discourse. I’m all for it. It’s what our country was founded on.

I just worry that we get so caught up in what divides us, we forget what unites us.

And health care just passed. I guess I just watched history in the making.

 
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