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Yeah, lets not talk to anyone. That has worked so far.

I don’t usually have much to say to people about politics. The nature of political discussion in the US got toxic in the run up to the Bush/Gore election and continued to get worse through the ensuing 8 years. People in our country got to the point where it was difficult to even have friends agree to disagree. I’m hopeful we get things turned around.

Today though, I saw that President Obama was taking heat for talking to and laughing with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

Seriously? Are we still going to run blindly down the path of not talking to folks who dare disagree with us?

I tend to think not. No one country is in a position to rule the world with an iron fist, even the US. Control of anything, a household, a buisness, an organization or a nation through fear and intimidation is an invitation to disaster and is ethically very troubling. We’ve had more than enough of that. It has gotten us nowhere.

Diplomacy is not a display of weakness, but of confidence and principled intelligence. People respect and respond to diplomacy. They react to intimidation and ignorance to their concerns.

Is talking to someone truly giving away the store? Is it appeasment? Definitely not.

I don’t think any one political party has the absolute perfect solution to problems in my country (the US) and around the world. I do think that the Bush/Republican neo conservative era was probably the most dangerous period in the history of the United States simply because of the lack of any semblance of diplomacy.

The period of expecting total compliance because we demand it is over. It didn’t work long term for the bully in the school yard, it can’t work for a nation or the world.

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