How Did it Come to This?

I am not one for sharing my political views with others.  My family and I might engage in debates, and maybe my closest friends, but never do I engage with others outside my innermost circle.  As one who prefers to avoid conflict, I know the safest way not to have an argument about politics is to never start a conversation.  And yet…

There is so very, very much wrong with that last full sentence.  A conversation should not be a guarantee of an argument.  A conversation should be able to ebb and flow and allow the opinions of both sides to be heard.  Sadly, in our world today, when two sides cannot agree, the conversation turns toxic in an instant.  One only has to look to the political display going on in our country today to see this in full force.

For the record, I am liberal minded.  I have voted in every election since I turned 18, and largely I have voted for democrats.  This does not mean, however, that I have not voted for more qualified republicans when the issue came up.  I am not blind to party lines.  

For those who have successfully managed to read past my political affiliations and are still interested in what I have to say, fear not.  The entire point of this particular post, as it deviates from my politically neutral, “lets all talk about writing theme”, is to point out our growing failures as a society.  I have friends on both sides of the political spectrum, and I enjoy each and every one of them.  That’s not to say that we’re ever going to enjoy a political conversation, and I have a terrible fear that should my well hidden political leanings ever come to light, there would be some who suddenly wouldn’t return my calls.

What sort of horrible, one dimensional world does this mean we live in?  We should embrace those who think differently than we do, not narrow down our orbits until we have nothing but like minded people surrounding us.  That is not growth.  That is not opportunity.  That is isolationism.  For a tutorial, please feel free to Google the 1920s.  We all know (I hope) how that one ended.

Yes, our apathy, our inability to challenge the status quo, and the fact that we have allowed politicians to rewrite our own rules to better suit their goals has all led to the nastiest presidential campaign in my lifetime.  But that isn’t what it truly tragic.  What is truly Shakespearian in its tragedy is that we no longer even try and “reach across the aisles”.  Do my political leanings make me less intelligent?  Less witty?  Less loyal to my friends?  Less willing to do what it takes to help those in need?  Absolutely not.  I work with a majority of democrats, I volunteer with a majority of republicans.  That does not make any of us wrong.  At any point.  We are entitled to our own opinions.  It is what makes us human.  And to allow the vitriolic atmosphere to continue unchecked is only further poisoning our country.  Rather than allow the rhetoric of either side to continue to drive a wedge in our society, we need to find common ground and build upon it.  Only then can we right this ship that has been off course for some time.  I can hope that we might stand a chance, but the wounds have already been made.  We must first finish the battle before we can being to heal.  If we are very, very lucky, we might be rational enough when the blood stops flowing to lick our wounds rather than continue to rip ourselves to shreds.  

I cannot guarantee I will never be inclined to share my political views again, but if you believe in anything I just said, if you believe in the rights set forth at the very founding of this country, then maybe we can still, after all this time, be friends.


Published by L.E. Gibler

Writer, rider, and future crazy cat lady

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