You have no doubt witnessed this yourself. The hate, animosity and recriminations coming from the left and right are occurring unabated everywhere from social media, to home and in the workplace. Friendships have ended, families have been fractured and the increase in depression and anxiety amongst many is palpable. In other words we are at each other’s throats. And I can’t imagine any scenario where this is a healthy phenomenon.
One person is to blame. Actually two. You and I count as one. No one forces us to do anything we don’t want to – think or act. However, one other is fostering this hated making it rather easy to tag along, perpetuating the vicious cycle, encouraging and leading in the vilification of anyone who disagrees or heaven forbid criticizes the PEOTUS. And that is Donald J Trump. If you are still reading – great – please hang on a bit longer.
I generally don’t know if this or that policy is better economically, socially or politically. I suppose it matters for who is better with this or that policy! I have voted in the past as a liberal, a conservative and as a conscientious protest voter so I am not ideologically bothered with a Republican or Democrat in the White House. Even though I am not an American, but were I, I would be considered an independent – one of those swing voters persuaded by the issues or the candidate of the day both nationally and jurisdictionally. My vote might also at times be predicated more on international politics than domestic ones or vice versa in any given election. In the meantime governments come and go … And a new one arrives on January 20th.
We are often initially disappointed or conceivably even angry at the eventual decision of the electorate. Our guy or gal lost but we get over it and live to fight the good fight next time! Then as the mandate progresses sometimes we become quite upset with the government of the day, with the leaders or specific decisions (or inaction) they take. Some of us loathed George W Bush. Some despised Bill Clinton and someone (or an entity) hated John F Kennedy enough to assassinate him. However in this most recent election between Donald J Trump and Hillary R Clinton something distinctive happened. We not only hated one of the two candidates (dare I say a normal election emotion) but we began hating one another in direct correlation to which side we took and “bigly”. So even as a Trump supporter, can you not see how it is so different this time? Please hang on a bit longer.
Why is personal animosity a product of our opposing political leanings and why now? Why not before? What is new and different this time? This bothers me to no end. I am fearful for our future if somehow this torrent of hate is not immobilized and if not entirely destroyed (naïve I know) at least recognized individually as an abjectly destructive and debilitating force for each and every one of us personally.
Everything has its reasons. There is a reason we feel and contemplate matters as we do. Whether it is our upbringing, our influences, our fears, our insecurities, or our prejudices (most of us have them), once we recognize the source or cause of the malaise only then can we begin to rectify the situation – but only IF we choose to see that it is in fact a problem – our problem.
The demeanour of the President Elect is shall we say; crass, uncouth, demeaning, derisive, loud, unsympathetic, narcissistic (sorry for those that disagree with that categorization or the next) and deceitful. He has sunk the discussion across the many platforms and settings where we all discuss this circumstance. This is not about any policy (yet), but a tone. It is an unmistakable tone that transcends policy to intolerance, anger and hate. Maybe we are better off with improved relations with Russia. Perhaps Obamacare can be replaced with a superior health coverage program. Possibly a President Trump can bring back better jobs for the displaced American worker without triggering a worldwide recession. Great. Love to see it. But the other stuff need not be a part of the package – that is what he does not get or simply underscores incapability. And we need not fall into line and follow as deficient a human being as is one DJT. It is our decision and choice how to act towards our fellow and who to follow as an example and who not to.
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; True nobility is being superior to your former self.” Ernest Hemingway
P.S. By the way I am definitely not in favour of walls …
Stuart, your observations resonate with me and with everyone I interact with I have two American brother-in-laws one from Florida and one from Texas. They have both married Canadians and they share our values. Through them however I have met and mostly heard about people who did vote for Trump and indirectly through THEIR facebook interactions I have witnessed how these people live in a completely different sphere. All of the thoughtful insights that are out there never reach them and they certainly don’t go looking for them. How can we change this, how can we reach them? We need to find a way to close that gap one mind at a time?
You hit the nail on the head – “one mind at a time”. It is therefore up to you and me …
I’m with you there Stuart.
“I am the universe”. And you. And that man walking across the street. Each one of us. You are right, Stuart. It is ALWAYS up to us. Individually.