What are we doing to each other, people? Ten years ago, I couldn’t have told you if any one of my friends was a democrat or a republican … it just didn’t matter. Ten years ago, we didn’t talk about ‘tribalism’; we had family, we had friends, some closer than others, we had co-workers, but we didn’t ask people to qualify their eligibility for friendship by political party affiliation, or even religion or skin colour. At least, most of us didn’t. “They” was a term reserved for an enemy, perhaps the Russians, perhaps the Chinese, but we were all “We”.
I am so angry with “Us”, and by “Us”, I mean all of us, democrat, republican, male, female, every religion, every ideology. Instead of listening, all we are doing is yelling, insulting and bullying. Instead of trying to get our views across so that they can be debated, so that we can learn from each other, we are yelling and pointing fingers and blaming everybody, even dead people! We all have some good ideas, and most of us also have a few really rotten ones, but unless we listen, we will never know.
This nation will not survive the Era of Trump if we don’t unify, if we cannot even talk to each other. And yes, I definitely include myself in my anger, I accept my share of blame, for I am no better and by this afternoon will once again be ranting against “them”. But how do we do better when we cannot even talk to each other?
How do we put the greater good ahead of our individual desires? This nation has already crossed the line from a democratic-republic to an oligarchical-plutocracy. We now have a government run by the very few ultra-wealthy. Decisions made at the highest levels that will affect each and every one of us, are made by wealthy people whose only goal is to get wealthier. Elections are subject to Russian interference, for Putin sees it as being in his interest to keep Trump’s boot-lickers in Congress and to keep the nation divided. Elections are also subject to nefarious games such as gerrymandering, voter intimidation and voter suppression to attempt to keep certain groups, such as the poor and minorities away from the polls, or at least dilute their vote.
So, how is our voice to be heard? We write and call our elected officials, but at best we receive a standard form letter in response. Today, we have more avenues of communication … instantaneous communication … than ever before, yet we cannot make ourselves heard by the people who ought to be listening. And so, we fight amongst ourselves. And such may well be the goal of those in power. I began this post with a quote: United we stand, Divided we fall. I use another quote to leave you with another thought: Divide and Conquer.