Photo from time.com
What a time it is to be alive, seriously. I’m not just talking about the pandemic, but the progressive era in America. The status quo is being pushed and people are finding their own opinions and voice in society. This year’s election was an eye opener for me on how people really do differ in their beliefs, and even get quite crude for what they stand for. But what about us that stand in the middle of it all?
I would consider political values as a spectrum, and although I lean very slightly to the right in some ways, in others I could very well swing left. I call myself purple, a mix between red and blue. These days, I don’t really know if there’s anyone out there like me. All I hear is “Republicans are racist and homophobic!” and “Democrats are hypocritical and ignorant!” It’s all hate, and frankly it’s tearing this nation in two.
George Washington said in his farewell address, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
The fact that no one listened to this man back in the 1700’s is just madness, and the result of not listening was chaos. I understand everyone is entitled to their own opinion and free to share it, as per The First Amendment of the United States Constitution, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t respect others opinions that are opposing ours.
I believe that lack of respect for others is what has caused this misunderstanding of the parties. There is segregation in this nation beyond race and gender, there’s segregation of understanding. Understanding that people have a reason to believe what they believe, and respecting them and their thoughts even if they don’t correspond with yours.
We live in a selfish era, everything is based around what we want to do, what we want to see, or what we want to hear. This is part of the issue, because we are being fed information that we agree with even when it may not be factual. Political outlets such as Fox News and CNN have their own propaganda, whether they claim to or not. Social media and smaller news outlets are even worse.
Social media is a huge part of society today. It’s become the way we interact and communicate with one another. I’m sure many of us couldn’t imagine our lives without it, but it can be just as harmful as it is helpful in this political and social climate. Social media gives us a place to talk about social issues going on around us, but it can fuel the fire as well. The social issues happening today are worth talking about and should be talked about, but gaining false information from sources that are not credible can lead the conversation in the wrong direction. The conversation can become hateful and non educational, which ends up making the matter worse.
I think one thing we should remember is that we can’t erase history, but we can learn from it and do better. This is a historic time in our nation, and we need to handle it with empathy, respect and an open mind. No matter which side of the political spectrum you fall on, it costs zero dollars to be a decent human being to one another. A middle ground is possible, and we need to find it in order to continue being the great nation that we are.