First off, those of you who know me understand I like the middle. I don’t have a D or an R by my name and proudly choose the better of the two candidates when there is one.
You also have most likely noticed that our country has taken a drastic turn towards polarization. Us versus Them. If you don’t think like me, then you’re a bigot or a racist or just a downright evil person. And that’s sad. We’re the same people we were before the most recent presidential election, yet we’ve allowed the major parties to shape how we think. Right now, the only game being played is how to villainize the other guy.
For a brief while, I noticed a push to try and talk out our differences. To be civil and to discuss politics. It gave me hope, because it’s through discussion and comparing points of view that we can move towards a compromise and work together as Americans.
If you insist on being caustic, bitter and angry and view that as a solution to our country’s problems, you have the absolute right to do so. However, if you’d like to begin the journey out of this cesspool and start the slow climb back to being civil to one another, may I suggest this little test?
Every time there’s a slam on Donald Trump, would you have laughed as hard if we were to substitute in the name of Hillary Clinton? My guess is, probably not. It’s a simple little filter I put to most of the stories that come out about our current president. For example, if Bill Maher had made an incest joke about Bill Clinton and his daughter, or if Martha Stewart was photographed flipping off a portrait of Hillary, would that have been equally as funny? I can beat the 5-second timer on that response. It comes down to basic decency and respect.
Don’t respect the office or this president? Good for you. Take a craft class at the senior center, create a gold medal out of construction paper and put it on your coat and wear it proudly.
On the reality side of the world, this is the time to come up with better candidates, better ideas, ways to fix things, to make things better. The problem with whining and complaining is that, eventually, people just quit listening.
And now more than ever, we need to listen to each other.