Politics are clearly a tool used to divide us. A tool that is being used quite well if the Internet is any indication. You have not lived until you’ve defriended someone or been defriended yourself on Facebook (or some other form of social media) for some political comment. Damn people are sensitive these days.
Are we not allowed to disagree anymore?
I’d like to think there was a time where people could disagree with each other about politics, yet still be civil to each other. Unfortunately, this is not the current paradigm. A quick browse of the comments section on any political story (heck any story) will quickly bring you crashing down to the reality of the current climate of political intolerance. Certainly the anonymity of the Internet adds to the problem. If no one knows it is you making the comments, there is no fear of being ostracized by your peers or family.
Probably the most egregious offenders are the Tea Party/Ultra Conservative douches. While they supposedly support the Constitution, free speech, due process, and everything that goes with it. They won’t hesitate to label anyone who dissents from their opinion as a ‘liberal’, ‘troll’, or worse. It seems their fragile egos have created a world where no one can disagree with them. Rather than engage someone in a civil discourse on politics, they label as a way to dismiss your point of view. On another note, don’t put me in your daily political report email blast either. I suspect 99.9% of those are spam blocked anyway. When you asked me for your email address, I did not know I was being subjected to this crap. An ironic and sad commentary on political discourse, indeed. Plenty of offenders on the other side of the pendulum, no doubt.
Social media, in a lot of ways, is great. You can share your opinions and ideas. But the trouble starts when you freely share your ideas, thoughts, opinions, etc. with the idea that no one will disagree with you. This is simply shortsighted idiocy. If you share your opinion or thought, you should expect someone to share theirs back with you. That’s how it works. Don’t get pissed off if everyone in the world does not agree with your perspective.
Ever wonder why some people are apathetic about politics or don’t vote? This is why. Who wants to deal with people who won’t even tolerate your opinion, won’t listen, or respond with name calling? No one.
Ultimately, this paradigm breeds hate, contempt, and the perilous ‘us vs. them’ mentality . We should strive to hear all the ideas on a topic. They system has you fooled if you think of everything in black or white (or in this case red or blue). Life is grey, not black and white. It is tiring and frustrating to always be angry about Obama or the evil white Republicans. It simply can’t be sustained and your life and relationships with people will suffer as a result. Your health may even suffer. Things are in a constant state of change. What is truth today may not be tomorrow.
Ask yourself, If politics are the tool, then what does that make you?