American Divides. (#1)

TED posted an interesting article (link) about the Red/Blue divide in America, the fallacy of said divide, and why we, as a people, need to move beyond these political set-ups in order to create a nation more of us can be content with.  So many of the facebook comments following the post show just how many of us on the left are unwilling to have these difficult conversations.  Not only are we unwilling to have them, we blame the other side for our unwillingness to have them.  I get that, in some ways,  I know it’s hard to find a breach in that wall of defensive ideology.  I’m willing to assume that they probably feel the same when they glance over at us.   We’ve all succumbed to the stubbornness of the righteous, and that’s no way to stop this roller coaster.  Check yourself.  If you’ve already labelled half of the nation as intolerable, then you are definitely part of the problem.  If you’re name calling, you’re part of the problem.  If you choose to draw the dividing line along your own biases, you are part of the problem.  I have wondered many times in the past few months, how on earth I would begin a dialogue with someone who thinks we should nuke the Middle East or someone who thinks god himself intervened to put Trump in office, and honestly, I don’t know.  Certain forms of fanaticism are so illogical and hateful to me, they make my blood boil and make my brain seize up and threaten to explode.  Nonetheless, I try to remind myself that the media’s job is to engage and enrage us, and so you don’t see pictures, or read stories of people doing the kinds of mundane things that make up most of our daily lives.  I try to remember that the outrageous things you see in facebook comment streams are issued from the safety of someone’s couch, and may not represent the way that they would behave publicly.  While we certainly have extremists in America, and while they are certainly feeling emboldened at this juncture, I don’t believe the fanatics on either side represent the majority.  They’re just loud as fuck.  Go, find one person, who’s somewhere toward the political middle, and talk to them.  Family can be a great place to start, though I confess I’ve completely disengaged from the fanatical fringes of my own extended family.  So long as we, the ninety-whatever-percent of the population stay at each other’s throats, the ruling class is less encumbered in their agendas, left or right.  Of course, we’ll never have a nation in full agreement about anything, and that’s ok…but we have to begin to find some ways to heal, to allay people’s fears, to cultivate a nation that provides opportunity and empathy for the average folk, because if we don’t, fanaticism on both sides will continue to rise, and we’ll see greater forms of extremism and retaliation on both sides.  Government rule will inevitably swing left again, and when it does, if something doesn’t give now, they’ll be just as ruthless and arrogant in pursuit of their own ideologies as the GOP is now. Two wrongs still don’t make a right.  So please, TRY to consider the experiences, perceptions and fears that have led the everyday conservatives to this place, TRY not to let the political machine use our national division as it’s own diversion.  Pitting us against each other is an old, old, old tactic, and they wouldn’t still use it if it wasn’t so predictable, if it didn’t work so well.  We, the people, as a whole, are THE  majority.  The ruling class knows it and they fear our unity and solidarity.

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