It is often said that public discourse swings like a pendulum. One time it’s extreme one way, the next time it’s right down the middle, and the next, well, it’s swung all the way in the other direction. If we’re talking politics in the United States, the pendulum has swung so far it feels like it may never swing back. The United States might be as divided as it has ever been. Is there any going back?
If you need any proof that this is the case, all you have to do is turn on your TV, or look at your phone or your computer screen. All day long, news stations are an echo chamber of preaching to whatever choir they have decided to preach to. Fox News is for Republicans. MSNBC is for Democrats. Facebook feeds are flooded with anti-Trump, anti-chose-a-Democrat vitriol, and civility has all but gone out the window. There is probably a silent majority sitting out there shaking their collective head. It’s hard to know over the cesspool that political discourse has become in this country.
It’s not hard to see why. Too many people are more interested in being right than actually doing what is best for the greater good. If Barack Obama had found a cure for cancer, many Republicans would have berated him for putting oncologists out of work. If Donald Trump brokered a deal that guaranteed world peace, Democrats would still call him foul names and make fun of his appearance. It’s almost as if some people root for the failure of the country under the watch of a president they don’t like simply because they have an (R) or (D) next to their name. If we may steal a line from President Trump’s Twitter account—sad.
At the end of the day, we are all Americans. We believe we should all want what is best for the country, regardless of political party. We also believe you can discuss your differences respectfully, and, gasp, maybe even be friends with someone who doesn’t think exactly like you.
What many can’t see is that Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin. When a Democrat is president, Republicans point out everything they have done wrong, criticize and claim “this blankety-blank” is the worst president ever. Then, when a Republican hits office, the Democrats do the same thing. Wash, rinse, repeat. A strong case can be made that neither party really cares much about anyone reading this, unless you’re a wealthy lobbyist.
Is this country too far gone to ever come back to center? Will it take another 9-11 for the country to unite behind our commonalities, rather than tear each other down for our differences? We certainly hope not. We’re all in this together, and we are all entitled to our opinion. Flooding your Facebook with political memes is not going to change someone’s mind.
Some of you will read this and pound your fist. “It’s all the other party’s fault! They don’t compromise! They are crazy! They are this! They are that! They are ruining the country!”
We rest our case.