Can you imagine a candidate who was asked, “and Mr. X, what about Gay Marriage?” and responded, jokingly, “Well, I actually haven’t reached that chapter in my Democratic Party Candidate hand book, so I’ll have to get back to you. No, seriously, I personally support Gay Marriage. I see no logical reason that homosexuals should not be allowed to marry. However, I’m struggling with this issue as a candidate. Is it right for me to enforce this belief upon the entire country? Is it wrong to with hold such a basic right from so many people. I understand that this is extremely personal for many people. I would remind you, though, that it is infinitely more personal for those homosexuals who are currently in a committed relationship that cannot be legally defined, than it is for those who are not in that position. I would ask everybody to keep that in mind as we discuss this issue. As I said, I am still formulating my thoughts on this subject.” Wouldn’t that be an amazing discussion. I’d like to think that conversation is possible.
Even better would be a candidate who was willing to candidly discuss the logic and arguments behind a contentious issue, such as flag burning. Perhaps such a candidate would actually explore the underlying assumptions behind the belief. Calmly, politely, open mindedly ask those who are against flag burning to explain why. Keep digging until you had a full, logical, thought out answer. Just stopping at the answer that it is anti-american to burn the flag, or unpatriotic, fails to explore the full belief. Once you have a fully thought out argument, apply the principals to other areas of life. Challenge the person to truly believe what they believe. This is something that we as a society consistently fail to do. We do not fully explore what we believe and we end up holding conflicting beliefs. If a person cannot fully explain why they think something, then perhaps that means they need to explore their belief more thoroughly to make sure that’s what they really believe. And if you don’t even know that you hold conflicting beliefs, you can never explore them.