I try to stay away from political posts because they usually just cause a lot of uproar and seldom convince anybody of anything, and I’m not strongly partisan anyway. But I wrote this post on Facebook a year ago and it’s something that bears repeating because I haven’t seen a lot of change. Maybe a little more exposure might help. What do you think?
We really, really need to take a good, hard look at what we’re doing to ourselves. We’re poisoning our own air…fouling our own nest…pick a cliché, but we’re doing it to ourselves with all the hate we’re spewing at one another just because we have different political philosophies. And it doesn’t make any sense. What’s happening right now is that the pendulum is swinging, just like it always does. If you look back at the political landscape, you just might notice that ever since WWII, with one small exception, we switch the party in charge every 4 to 8 years. Why? Because half the country is conservative, to varying extents, and half is liberal, to varying extents, and a whole bunch in the middle are willing to be swayed a little if somebody has a good argument. The problem is that we’re not hearing as much argument as angry invective. It seems like people are losing sight of the fact that we all have to live together. We need each other. Conservatives need liberals and liberals need conservatives. What would art, theater, literature, and music be without a liberal side? Who would build our roads and skyscrapers, grow our food, put out our fires, and protect our country without the conservative side? Some folks’ heads probably just exploded because I used some generalities, but you know exactly what I’m talking about. How can we be the greatest nation on earth without social justice balanced with safety and security? We’re all paddling along in the same canoe, folks, and if you paddle too long on the left or too long on the right, you drift off your course and there are more and more people getting unhappy about the direction you’re taking. They start paddling on the other side and before you know it, somebody else is in charge of where you’re going. That’s how we do course corrections as a country…switching the parties in control. It keeps us centered and balanced. Sure, it would be a lot easier to just compromise in the first place, but we don’t seem to want to elect people who will do that, so here we are doing the pendulum thing. And everybody already knows all this, right? So why are we treating one another like enemies?? I know about half the people in the country right now are thinking that Donald Trump didn’t deserve to win the election and this could be the end of civilization as we know it…but half the country thought the same thing about Barack Obama 4 years ago, and 8 years ago, and would have thought the same thing about Hillary Clinton if it turned out a little bit different last November. So when you think about it, whatever your political opinion is, half the country usually disagrees with you. And they can’t all be total morons. No, they can’t, and you know it, so think about that if your focus starts to narrow and you start thinking your opinion is the only one that has any worth. What we’re supposed to do when we don’t agree with the people in charge of the country is debate and argue and compromise and try to maintain our sanity and humanity until the next election rolls around and see if we can’t do better next time. But too many people seem to think the “other side” is some lower form of life, and instead of having discussions on pros and cons of political philosophies, they attack others on a personal level. Arguing is fine, but when your arguments are full of anger and hate and you mock, disparage, and belittle others to make your point, you’re being small-minded and mean-spirited…and besides losing my respect and your own credibility, you’re just pumping more poison into the air we all have to breathe. I’m seeing this too much, from both sides of the aisle, from politicians and pundits and actors and so-called “comedians” and “journalists”…and even from my own friends. The violent rhetoric is bad enough, but some people think that justifies violent action and the whole thing is spiraling farther out of control all the time. Maybe we should think a little harder about that while we still can. Maybe instead of acting like third-graders without adult supervision, we can somehow manage a little maturity and refuse to make that sarcastic comeback. Refuse to “like” hateful Facebook posts. Refuse to re-tweet comments full of contempt and scorn. Maybe if we refuse to feed the hate, it’ll die. At least a little. It’s worth a try, isn’t it?