Thursday, March 3, 2011
Politics on the Flip Side
Late last night I watched an interesting story about the Wisconsin GOP Senator, Glenn Grothman (a Republican), who was heckled, chased and cornered by a mob of protesters outside of the Wisconsin State capital. It was clearly a volatile situation. (Democratic) Congressman Hulsey stepped in to calm the crowd and help Grothman. The crowd was acting in a hostile manner and quickly getting out of control. Hulsey told the crowd that even though he and Grothman have very different views he is still a friend of his. The crowd then calmed down. Was Hulsey showing empathy for Grothman in this unsettling situation? It seemed that way to me. He could clearly see that this was not an appropriate way to protest, by assaulting the Senator, so he stepped in.
After the story, there was an interview with the two men. I was anxious to see both views on the situation especially since I saw it as a "flip side" moment. Was it a political move for Hulsey? Was Grothman grateful? Was Hulsey going to be humble? Well, my husband and I were disappointed by the interview. After Hulsey, humbly, explained what had happened and why he helped Grothman, they asked Grothman about his view of the situation. He was not grateful and he actually said it was not big deal and that the crowds were fine and he was in no danger. Well, maybe he wasn't in danger, but he was clearly in distress and Hulsey clearly helped him out of the situation. He showed no graciousness to Hulsey. He almost ignored what the interview was actually about and continued with his politics. REally?
Well, this is what Flip Side is all about. Real stories, real situations and they don't always end up the way we want them to. This wasn't just about politics. Yes, there were democrats acting inappropriately for their passionate reasons and not showing compassion for a man who has his own passionate views and there were Republicans who weren't able to let go of their politics to see the compassion given by another. The point is that there were all kinds of people who could only think about their views and instead of making the points that they wanted to, we all saw anger, violence, lack of empathy and ignorance.
That is ok though. As long as we are proactively thinking about the "Flip Side", we can put our own emotions in check and not let people like that effect our own emotions and reactions to those events. We can't help someone who doesn't see anyone else's point view or someone who is just mean but WE can try to see where they are coming from and say, maybe, there's nothing I can do about that person except adjust my interactions with them so I am not hurt by them.
In this story, Hulsey sacrificed his position with his followers to help a human being in need. That is the bottom line. It sickens me to see crowds who protest so unpeacefully and to see someone who just can't put their ego aside to be grateful. Hulsey is a "Flipsider" in this case.
See for yourself. Look at it as human beings and their interactions, not necessarily as a political issue.
GOP Senator and Protesters