We are living in difficult times.
I am finding myself increasingly confused about who I’m supposed to hate these days.
I mean, I know that its wrong to hate people because of their race, their gender, their gender identity, their sexual preferences, their native language, their religion, their favorite baseball team (even Yankee fans)….
I’m a liberal middle aged white woman. I have marched against nuclear power, the Vietnam war, the slow passage of the ERA, the idea of a gas pipeline going through my town, income inequality, this President, and a few other things I forget at this point.
Here’s where I’m confused.
If I believe what I see on social media, I am supposed to hate- with a deep and abiding passion- everyone who voted for Donald Trump. More, I’m supposed to detest and vilify everyone who still thinks he is doing a good job.
Even in said person is my very own family member, someone I love and treasure.
That’s really hard. I tend to be a relatively kind person, even if I am passionate about my political beliefs.
When I watch the news, or read online news stories, I realize that there are millions of my fellow countrymen who are being convinced that they are supposed to hate ME. If they want to seem like good Americans, real patriots, they are supposed to be calling me names like “libtard” and “snowflake”. They are supposed to scream at me because I want “open borders”. They are supposed to yell that I support the “deep state” and that I love crime, drugs, pillaging and rape. (OK, maybe that last part is over the top, but it’s hard to tell.)
Here’s the thing.
Years before the Donald was ever heard of, Americans were arguing about politics. I remember the 60’s very well, when every family gathering was marked by shouting over the war. I remember long, tortuous arguments with friends and relatives about Iran (way back, during the time of the hostage taking), about Israel/Palestine, about environmental concerns. I’ve been sneeringly labelled a “tree hugger,” a “lefty,” a “commie”.
None of that came with the level of absolute hatred that is soaking our interactions today.
Years after the Donald will be nothing more than an embarrassing chapter in US history, the citizens in this country will argue over everything from tax rates to school curriculum.
It’s what we do. We’re informed Americans. We vote. We try to be informed.
But today is not “years ago” or “years from now”. Today is today.
And we are in a very very scary place. We think its fine, even admirable, to type obscenities on Twitter at people who disagree with us. We cheer when a member of our “team” is able to embarrass and humiliate people from the “other team.”
I blame the anonymity of social media for this.
We have fallen for the lie that we are good patriots if we publicly attack each other for our beliefs.
I blame Donald Trump for most of this. But I blame the gullible media for it, too. They loved the ratings and the fake outrage and the easy reporting that comes with their coverage of people screaming at each other.
Mostly, though, I blame us.
I mean, seriously folks. What the absolute hell?
If you voted for Trumpy, I think you made a huge mistake. I don’t think you are the spawn of the devil. I do not think you are part of a giant racist neo-Nazi attack on liberty and democracy.
If you voted against Trumpy, I don’t think you wear a halo. I don’t think you have a special entry into Heaven. I don’t think you are kinder, braver, harder working, smarter or more moral than those who voted the other way.
In the end, the rich and powerful will keep on being rich and powerful. They’ll keep on pushing for laws that will make us work harder to earn less while they protect their own billions and zillions and gajillions.
Remember: this happened. It will no doubt happen again in the not too distant future.
We are NOT each other’s enemies. The press who reports on this bullshit is not the enemy. The people who make us attach each other in defense of THEM? They are our enemies.
Don’t mistake my point here. I hope, with every fiber of my being, that Donald Trump’s big old orange ass will land in jail in the not too distant future.
In the meantime? I refuse to inch any closer to civil war in defense of his actions or those who opposed him in the election.
I know. Half of you are outraged.
Let me hear what you think.