Divided We Stand
Many people who have known me for a long time may wonder why I’ve been so quiet this election cycle. To be honest, I’ve grown sick of the entire process. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not quite to the point of remaining blissfully ignorant. I’m not living under an informational rock while being consumed by the ongoing saga of the Kardashians. No, I still pay attention to the process. I’ve just learned that with the country now (at least during my lifetime) more divided than ever, and with politicians, pundits, and those in the media being hell-bent on widening that divide along with a public that’s all too willing to acquiesce to those desires, and, well… what’s the point of hashing things out publicly?
Rational and thoughtful debate in America is dead in regards to politics or even the newest agenda-driven, engineered, social issue distraction of the week. Even in regards to people who are theoretically on the same team, we have been conditioned to attack and destroy those who merely have a different idea or opinion. Without critical thought and open and honest debate, how can our once free society continue? Freedom of speech was at the top of the list for a reason.
Now, I’ll admit that I’m an opinionated fellow (those who know me well are no doubt having a chuckle in agreement with that statement). I often joke that I have a very open-closed mind. By that, I mean that you’ve got about as much chance of convincing me to give up my ideology of individual liberty and personal responsibility in exchange for big government collectivism as I have of convincing my wife to let me “process” and grill one of her fancy designer chickens… It’s just not gonna happen. But, with that being said, I still respect your right to having your own opinion. So, yes, it may be futile to try to get a Ron Paul supporting Libertarian to support a big government leftist progressive, but if you share any values with the other person with whom you disagree at all, you should be able to have a rational and honest debate without tempers flaring and feelings getting hurt.
These days, however, it seems that all is lost in that regard. For example, in primary elections, where a candidate to represent a political party is chosen, it has become almost required to treat the other candidates, as well as their supporters, as the enemy. If you disagree with their chosen one, people feel the need to discredit you as a person and disrespect your opinion instead of just respecting the fact that you are indeed entitled to your own.
How did we get to the point where our society requires tolerance while destroying opposing views all at the same time? It’s been a long road, but we have been progressing toward it for a long time. Heck, we can’t have a discussion as to whether men should pee in the ladies’ room without being called the “phobe” word of the day with a “racist” slipped in there somehow, so how in the heck are we supposed to discuss real issues in an open and honest manner?
I could go on and on about how upside down and hostile things have become. I could mention the groups of openly racist, hate-filled, paid and organized protest groups whose goal is to extinguish opposing views and speech; I could point out how the same politicians who claim to support LGBT rights take bribes… uh, I mean contributions, from those around the world who execute LGBT people in public and in exchange rabidly support their ideology; or I could mention how the coal miner’s union (UMWA) only gives campaign contributions to the party who openly, and on video, say they are going to put coal miners out of work. Sadly, the list goes on and on. The level of social and political insanity going on in the United States today defies all logic.
So, to make an incredibly long story short, yes, I do pay attention to politics, but I have lost all desire to discuss them openly unless I am in a closed group where I know individual opinions matter and are respected. But to be honest, I’ve gotten to the point where I think a zombie apocalypse, an alien invasion, or some sort of giant meteor may be the only hope for humanity. Without something to shake us back to our senses and to the reality of things at hand, making our engineered social issues irrelevant, I just can’t see us voting our way back to freedom and prosperity. I don’t wish to bring about the destruction of our world, I just don’t have a lot of faith in our process without a reset to force us to set our priorities straight and put all of the B.S. to the side.