Has our opinion of anyone who dares to oppose or question our stand on issues become merely “if you oppose me, you must be evil”?
It would be hard to imagine my surprise when I awoke this morning, turned on the news expecting to see Secretary Clinton announced as President Elect, and instead found Mr. Trump making his address to his supporters and accepting the election as our next President.
I have to admit that I have consciously avoided listening to or watching any media for the past several months because I found the attacks and the posturing despicable from both parties and their candidates, and unworthy of people trying to be elected to the highest office in the United States and to become one of the most powerful people in the world. I tried to stay current by perusing several national and international sources on my computer. That way I only saw the headlines of each day’s breaking scandal and vicious attacks. I would imagine my surprise was echoed by the majority of this country and the world.
But today, I could listen to the radio again and watch television local and national news to see how America was dealing with a new President elect. Sadly, I was not surprised to see that the nation seems to refuse to put differences aside and, if on the losing side, move to be the “loyal opposition” that might have been the gracious and mature stance for a party that lost today, but planned to recover in two and four years hence. Please do not think that I believe that this stance was unique to the Democrat party, I am confident that had the results been different, we would have heard a similar reaction from the losing party, probably even accusations of a rigged election.
I am chagrined by the general state of debate in this country, perhaps it is the same elsewhere in the world. I see that the reaction to loss is one that, in general, is so filled with hate and vitriol, that there is no room for anything but further and deeper division. I wonder what is our strategy, where is the working toward moving together toward a more vibrant future, when the ad hominin attacks and the response to them are so acid and profanity laden that working together is impossible.
Has our opinion of anyone who dares to oppose or question our stand on issues become merely “if you oppose me, you must be evil”? When is the last time we have heard anything from either party and its members that even resembles “I don’t agree with your point of view, but I will research it and answer it with facts of my own based on the issue”? Instead what I read in the various media, Twitter, and editorial comments is something more akin to “since you differ with me you are not only a bad person, but you have no right to speak at all”. I am left wondering if at this point we have witnessed a massive tantrum that means, “if I don’t get my way, I’m going to take my ball and go home”. Apparently so many people were disturbed by the outcome last night that the Canadian web site that discussed immigration to Canada crashed.
I have serious doubts about Mr. Trump’s abilities to unite us and lead us to a less divided and divisive citizenship, but I am willing to wait and see. Sadly I see little or no hope of any similar “wait and see” stance among my liberal fellow citizens. Since the 1960s I have watched the erosion of debate occur in this country to be replaced by loudly and crudely drowning out those that put forth views that clash with the views held by the opposition. Certainly there are critical issues that need to be addressed if we are to create a country and environment that allows each person to maximize his or her abilities and talents in a free society and no-one on either side has been heard that disagrees with this.
But is the best road to this one that allows tantrums when one loses, shouts down those who hold a different opinion and drown out debate with chanting, riots, and vulgarity? Is this the best America can do to achieve a better America and a better world?