We are the people. I’m speaking to you. Why are you sinking to the same divisiveness as the President? As though Americans who support what you oppose are not people.
I browse or creep if you will, through my friend’s feeds. I care. People I know to be intelligent, well-researched, and objective are angry. They’re resorting to name calling, prejudice, and condescension toward their political other. I’m shocked at the hateful and ugly posts by otherwise loving and reasonable friends. And to be honest, I have the same impulse to jump up, call everyone an S. O. B., and slap them upside the effin’ skull!
Come on! People are losing their damned minds. I am included. It happened just the other night. Our household politics gave sway, and suddenly every child and adult is shouting names at each other. Honestly, I’m ashamed to say it drove me blind. I lashed out at everyone with high volume, sharp words, and intimidation. I get it!
But despite what’s happening or how it affects you, people you love, values you embrace, verbal abuse is not a way forward.
We have to act. We have to advocate. Especially when those things are so critical to our quality of life and that of those around us. But “Why swerve into the gutter?” to quote Frank Bruni in “The Wrong Way to Take on Trump” (click to read). Activism that belittles the humanity of the other is prejudice. No matter who or for what reason.
I’m encouraged by the work of those who focus on the issue instead of their opponents on the issue. The Outdoor Industry Association, for example, is focussing on public lands. (Click to read “Outdoor Industry Force”.) They embraced “red, blue, and green”. They focussed on the task at hand: protecting public spaces. They did not belittle those who may disagree.
Conservatives are lashing out in triumph over dismissiveness they’ve felt for 10 years. Some would say rightly so. Some would say they were dismissed because of their own as a result of their own incivility. Honestly, that’s the same rationale used by people who beat their wives. “You asked for it.”
Liberals are lashing out at what they perceive as oppression. Some say they’re bleeding hearts, crying liberals, trying to save the world. Rightly so. Who are you if you won’t stand up for your fellow human? Is that what makes you the American people?
In “Can This Political Union Be Saved? (click to read) Megan McArdle told about a divorce lawyer’s perspective. The attorney said behavior in America now is what he sees between his divorce clients. They forget the good in each other and focus on the bad.
That crying liberal you belittle socially is me. Your family member. Your friend. An equal in this country. I’m a liberal because I believe in ethics, equality, service to your community, a healthy world for our children.
And that redneck, fascist conservative you publicly deride is me. Your friend. Your family member. Someone who believes in this nation. I’m a conservative because I believe in truth, integrity, personal responsibility, and a free world for our children.
If you despise those things in me, it says more about you than it does me.
Limited government. Healthy environment. Personal protection. Safe communities. Equality. Financial success. Health. Liberty.
These things are not unAmerican. Censorship and divisiveness are. See the Bill of Rights for reference.
THOUGHTS FOR CHECKING YOURSELF:
Instead of righteous reaction, focus on the outcome. Look beyond this current dilemma to a time when things might be better. What words and behavior lead to that goal? Don’t contribute immoral actions in response to immoral actions. Use the right steps forward.
[ ] Hatefulness is consistent neither with compassion nor liberty.
[ ] Your anger is not a valid rebuttal.
[ ] Disagreement is not a moral high ground. Doing what’s right is.