I have reached my breaking point with political talk. I usually can tune most of it out, and I thought for sure that as we worked closer to December our collective short memory and lack of being able to stick with any one train of thought very long would have led to all of us returning to talking about turducken and Christmas and how many times you and I have been raking leaves this fall.
Perhaps I’ve spent way too much time on social media or I have too many friends with opinions all over the political scale, but the continued rhetoric is starting to really wear on me. There are a few facts that I feel we can all agree on. The first is that Trump was probably not the best candidate to get elected if unity was on the forefront of our collective minds. Also that Hillary and the DNC failed to understand just how frustrated people outside of the “mixing pot” large cities really were. Unfortunately for all of us the place where we stand didn’t just happen overnight, and the things that are truly disturbing really aren’t the things we should be having a collective discussion about.
I’ve watched for a while now as the mood in this country has moved from outrage to outrage as most of us who go about our business of attempting to live our lives every day are left wondering where the leadership has gone in our country. Maybe because I’m not black, or illegal or gay I can’t understand what their plight truly is. It doesn’t mean that I can’t agree with their concerns or fears. Maybe none of them have ever lived wondering where their next meal came from, or grew up poor and worried that losing your job meant not only having to lose your livelihood but also the home that had been in your family for generations. We all have different things in our lives that we have to deal with and hurdles to overcome; none of us are immune to that. Instead of having open dialog about the problems facing others and trying to understand and find a middle ground, the current chain of events will not lead to any kind of a solution that is good for either side of the isle.
I’ve always felt that division in this country only leads to the destruction of all of us as a whole. I’m not German-American, I’m not a deplorable, or uneducated. I’m not anything that some would like to label me in order to pigeon hole me as a person. I’m an American…a proud member of this imperfect country that only gives me one guarantee, that if I want something I can work for it. When I see my friends being hazed for who they are it makes my heart hurt. The very unfairness that comes from being labeled and judged because you are different than another person, cannot be squashed by labeling anyone who has a different world view than yours as “intolerant”. We speak out of both sides of our mouths. We teach our children not to bully others, spending huge amounts of time and money to wipe out this scourge from our schools, yet we allow it to take place when talking about people of different colors, or views, or religions. Doesn’t that make every single one of us hypocrites?
We must, as a nation, stop the violence, on both sides of the isle. There should be no room anywhere for a person being gunned down based on the color of their skin, nor should there be room for a person being gunned down based on the color of their clothes. I’m saddened, truly saddened by the level of hate that has gone ignored by the current leadership of this country. No President or government they lead can end all violence and hate, but shouldn’t we expect them to denounce and speak against it at every turn? Instead we get hours and hours’ worth of talking heads trying to amplify a story or a cause just to get our ten minutes of attention.
One final thought this week. As I was listening to the election coverage in the wee hours of the morning, I heard something that really disturbed me. As the “journalists” were trying to explain how even they were being surprised by the results, one commentator noted that it showed that the Press didn’t have as much power as they once did. I’ve been a columnist for a long time and a publisher before that, and that comment sent my blood to boiling and is also one of the reasons that we have ended up in this mess. Until journalist and the talking television heads return to providing us with news based on facts and without rhetoric, commentary or conjecture, then the Press not only deserves no power, but also is not upholding their end of the bargain under the freedoms they have been given by the Constitution.
The name calling and violence has to end, and needs to end now. If we continue it, then we all are doing an injustice to our children, because we aren’t leaving this country better than we found it. See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.