If you read my blog, then you know I am disappointed with our nation’s recent Presidential election. In fact, everything I voted for at a state level didn’t happen either. Disheartened may be the best way to describe what I feel. It baffles me to think that a country disappointed with the status quo voted to keep it. And now, with the democratic process on pause; elected candidates and legislation will steer this country into a future with unknown results. Who knows what will come of this nationwide onslaught of conservatism? Will we be worse off for it? It’s hard for me not to think so. I pray and hope that I am wrong.
However, despite my disappointment and even critique of our Nation’s most recent decisions, I am resolved not to vilify those whom I disagree with. Yes, in a sense ‘my side’ lost, and the other side won. But the very nature of that categorical thinking is exactly what this country does not need to move forward.
In the last 24 hours I have seen some hateful and gross comments reacting to Obama’s re-election. And I am not just talking about venomous Republicans venting. I am also talking about about Democrats demonizing our fellow Americans. A Republican friend of mine received an email via an anonymous proxy that more or less insults my friend in the highest degree. The intent of this email was clear: to denigrate the personhood of my friend by calling him a loser, scum of the earth, and gloating in his face over Obama’s win. What’s worse is that this unknown slanderer seemed to know my friend quite well. The writer spoke with such vehemence, animosity, and intolerance that it unsettles me to think where this country may go with regard toward respecting other people’s opinions and beliefs. Now I know this is one isolated case, and an extreme one at that, but there are just as many hateful comments coming from the Right as there are from the Left. It’s as if we are in a Civil Culture War.
Someone please tell me that our political ideologies aren’t worth expressing at the expense and dehumanization of another human soul! Is this what we want America!? To behave in a manner that is worthy of the Taliban and Al Qaeda? To compound hate and prejudice by spewing contempt and bitterness at the ones we disagree with? A HOUSE DIVIDED WILL NOT STAND!
And right now, we are a divided house America. Not because we have different beliefs and opinions, but because we stereotype anyone who does not share our beliefs. They must be a bigot, racist, hippie, redneck, freeloader, womanizer, junkie, corporate pig, illegal, terrorist, fascist, bible-thumber, or fem-nazi. We think it completely infeasible that an opposing viewpoint might have some beneficial thought or idea.
The direction we are heading now is a fight for might makes right. True democracy will lose it’s place in America if we continue to devalue the worth of our kindred citizens. And freedom of expression and thought will evaporate from the heat of oppression.
Moving forward must include reaching across the aisle and biting our lips and avoiding pointless quarrels. We must tame our tongues! We must respect each other in a way that engages people who disagree with us; and not just write them off. We must realize that each of us individually are not the sole arbiters of truth. We must be willing to make sacrifices.
I urge each one of us to value their neighbor more than we value ourselves. Only then will we move forward.