There is a great power struggle in our land. That has been true of many generations. Yet we have reached a point of destruction. We are pitted against one another in a time of technology which allows us to tear at each others throats, trying to defeat each other by individual condemnation of each others value as a person. Rather than looking for a way to enhance our nation by the lifting up of what we share as common values, we have shut out any possibility of neutral ground and refuse to advance those common values. We pick and choose our arguments to berate, reprimand, belittle, and above all discredit those whose oppose our views on any particular social platform.
It is the politicians, the pundits, and the politically charged media outlets fueling division among individuals which are the driving force in tearing us apart. They all have monetary gain and power control to advance their personal ideology as their primary goal while trying to influence people based on their religious beliefs, ethnic culture, level of education, independence or dependence in society.
The average American is the political currency. That was demonstrated in our last election. The entire reason there was such an upset on both sides of the political spectrum was a total disillusionment en masse in middle America concerning the establishment of elected officials which (on both sides) had failed to recognize the most basic needs for survival of those they represented. So Donald Trump, who was not a politician, defeated 16 Republican opponents to win the Primary and continued on to defeat Hillary Clinton (another career politician).
The greatest driving force of the human condition is desire for independence. Above all we cherish our freedom. We seek to elevate our living conditions and help others to elevate theirs. We also want freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom to protect and defend our families, and the right of pursuit of happiness. All these are necessary for most of us. Yet the ones we send to be our voices ignore these basic needs of the majority and drive divisions further between ideological views by pandering to the loudest voices. There is a great deal of truth in the term “silent majority.” However it does not mean we should not take into consideration all factions of society: i.e. the poor, uneducated, disabled, elderly, sick and others who are dependent. Everyone should have a voice. And it is the responsibility of all those who govern to make sure all disadvantaged citizens are not only represented but their basic needs are met. Instead politicians promise to care for the disenfranchised and fall woefully short while lining their pockets appeasing the lobbyers.
As I mentioned earlier, we are political currency. Everyone wants our vote. We will always be appealed to on an ideological basis. Politicians will try to persuade us to vote for them by dangling the carrots of advancement for a particular cause. But we must not be willing to bargain away any of our freedoms when making a decision about our future. We must convert our victories of lessoning the grip of an all powerful government into a lasting advancement toward stability of freedom and economic prosperity for all.
We can be absolutely sure that this new year of 2018 will be dominated by politics. The midterm elections coming up in November will spur continued class warfare and sociopolitical pressures aimed toward more division between us. The past year has been wrought with congressional biases of no cooperation on one side and infighting on the other. We can also be sure that those who lost power in the general election of 2016 will continue on in their quest to nullify the votes of last year and continue to try to destroy the party in power while repeatedly denying their party is in deep distress as the increasing unveiling of malpractice comes to light against them.
The question I have is: Can we as individuals learn from our mistakes? Will we continue to allow politics to be weaponized in the home, office, community and social media? Will we seek to destroy each other as the politicians do or will we allow differences of opinion and still treat each other with respect and dignity? Are we capable of loving one another though we see the world through a different lens? I believe we are capable of the latter, if we do not fall into the trap of letting the political world tell us we much hate each other. We have a general election every four years. No one party is going to stay in power too long. History tells us this is true. If it were not, we would soon find ourselves devoid of democracy and in no better condition than those fighting for their freedom in Iran today. Our system is set up to maintain balance. We must defend that system.
The Great Teacher once said, ” A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Abraham Lincoln used these words, from the bible, in a speech he gave when he was elected as the Illinois senator. Yet we continued on to wage war against one another. Even brothers killed brothers. In the end the result was disastrous for those who held onto a failed ideology and the cruel practice of slavery. Let us not return to being a house so divided we literally destroy each other and spend the next several decades picking up the pieces.
©Phyllis Rogers 2018