Thursday, March 10, 2016

Traveling to America's Polar Regions

As has been said, America has become dangerously polarized. Many of us can’t talk to people who hold opposing political viewpoints. I have to admit that I’ve been guilty of that myself, but I felt that I was a step ahead of some of my Facebook friends when I saw this posting:

With just one click, you can find out which of your Facebook friends like Trump – and unfriend them.

I wondered why people would want to spy on their friends. After all, why stoop to Trump’s level? By now, we’ve all heard the stories of people quietly opposing his views being forcibly ejected from his rallies. His threats against anyone who opposes him are reported fully in all the media.

Then I wondered why they’d need to. I have a few Facebook friends who support Trump, but I hardly need to sign up for apps to find out which of my friends feel that way. They are posting pro Trump things on Facebook all the time. Then I wondered if most people only have friends who agree with them about everything. If we can’t even talk to our friends, how can we expect to have a dialog? How can we begin to solve all of America’s problems if we can’t even talk to each other?

In Better Off Without ‘Em, Chuck Thompson suggests that the North and South are so culturally and politically apart, it would be easier for both of us if we let the South secede. He presents his arguments with humor and anecdotes. At the end of his book, however, he gets serious and admits that the likelihood of this happening is remote at best. 

Since we’re all forced to be one country, instead of unfriending each other, we’d be better off trying to listen to each other and find out where we’re all coming from. The dichotomies aren’t only between the North and South, but are also between the socially conservative and those who are more open-minded, between upper classes and people who struggle from paycheck to paycheck, between racial and ethnic groups. It will be hard to talk about issues we’ve all been yelling about but in the end, it may be worth it. So if anyone reading this is pro Trump, I invite you to tell me why. Maybe you have a good reason, but I can’t see it for the life of me. Anyone who’s definitely for any other candidate, you’re invited to put your 2cents in also. I won’t edit what anyone says unless swear words, pornography, or personal insults are used. We’re poles apart and we need to start talking now before it’s too late.

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