Have you ever had someone say something to you that you know they said to deliberately make you mad? Have you ever had someone bring up a topic precisely because they wanted to see you react? Sadly, this happens all too frequently today in our political structure. We believe that it is important to know that this is happening and have a plan to approach this when someone brings up an issue for reactionary purposes.
Reactionary issues do much to blur and diminish core issues, that is why we believe people must be aware of the differences and have a plan to diffuse the situation. A core issue will be based in facts, have less emotional sway, and will be something that needs addressed. The state of the environment, health care reform, and income inequality are all issues that we believe are core issues.
A very prominent example of a reactionary issue is the debate over transgender bathrooms. While we are not saying this to diminish the struggle of transgender people, the fact is that while people are raging over bathrooms, transgender people face intense core issues like violence, discrimination, and less equality and justice. We need to address these core issues and we need people to stop reacting over what toilet people can and cannot use so that transgender people can live safer, equal, and just lives.
Reactionary issues are used to cause division. We must diffuse the situation so we can get back to dealing with the core of the issue. The next time someone says something to get a reaction take a minute to think. Is this person only saying this because they want to start an argument? How can I pull this conversation back to the core or take it in another direction? Is this person perhaps misinformed? Are they speaking in a belligerent tone? Remembering these steps and taking some calming breaths will help diffuse the situation and not lead to a pointless argument that misses the core issue. Keep in mind it is okay to be passionate, but do not confuse argumentative language with passion and keep pressing for the core issues to be addressed!