For as long as I can remember, I always loved America. I used to spend days and days watching American TV Shows and listening to US music. I lived in France, but I knew as much about American culture from my bed as I knew about my own. The more I learned about America (through books this time), the more I was in love with its ideals and principles. Every time I stepped foot on American soil, I had a feeling of freedom and liberty, which still doesn’t make sense to me. But the more I learned about America, the more I knew that it was not perfect. Being the first international power is one thing but being paradise is another. Of course, the same could be said about France or any other places. The same could be said about Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson or Abe Lincoln. I understand why they would be revered, but they are not without flaws. There is no place, no person, no political party which should be placed on a pedestal. Even God is for slavery, rape and mass murder. Reverence is a deterrent to criticism. And blind hatred is a deterrent to critical thinking. These two things are a major reason of the fights of today in America. Steve Schmidt left the GOP saying that now only the Democratic Party “stands for what is right”. I understand his distaste for his old party, but he could easily have started a new party with the ones who also reject the new face of his GOP. But he preferred the easy way out, making it about “good vs evil”.
That’s where we are today, for many people the Country is back at being dualistic instead of being a plurality of things and peoples. Democrats think their party has no flaws while thinking the GOP and their voters are monsters. The Trumpsters think that everything that comes from Trump or his Trumpets is true and all the rest is fake news. I’m sure that many Americans would be happy if Hilary or Trump would be diagnosed with cancer. Which is insane. Your world does not revolve around your party, your flag or your race. Someone said “You can’t be a hero without being a coward.” Heroes only exist because they hide their flaws or you ignore them because of your own ideological bias.
Americans are disgusted by both Communism and Totalitarian regimes. Places where the biggest party (or the only party) is quite frankly owning the whole country. No one wants to defend the monopolistic control of a country by the leader of The Party. However, today in the US, the radicalization of both sides brings many to want to crush the other party. We want to hate anybody who disagrees with us. Even if we agree on most things, if there is one issue where we differ, we stigmatize the other. If you really are progressive, you can’t eat Chick-Fil-A otherwise you will be pilloried all over the internet for being homophobic. If you’re a real Christian, you can’t seriously bake a cake for gays, or it goes against you’re religious freedom. If you work in the White House, just like Sarah Sanders, you will be driven out of a restaurant. All these people want to exercise their freedom but they don’t want their enemies to do the same thing. Ideals are not made to defend only our tribe. If defending freedom means censuring the other side, that’s wrong. You can’t use the Constitution to defend your side and ignore it to accuse the other. Period.
There is a dualization of society. Every one puts everyone else in a box and purposefully want to keep them in there. We don’t want to get out and try freedom of thought. It is so much easier to think just like our friends and our entourage. Why make the effort to care and respect people who think differently when we do not know them or even want to hear them speak? Politicians should be the ones showing the example, but for years now the gridlock and the lack of compromise has brought the country to rely more and more on their bases. The same could be said of many influencers and medias who rely on outrage for clicks, ratings and fame.
Dehumanizing your neighbor because of the stamp on their car, or because of a stupid tweet will not make this country better. People are complicated and when one half of America stops listening to the other half, it makes it more divided and helps the development of two strong ideologies which are going to crash into each other instead of debating each other. Trump is no Hitler, but the atmosphere in the US today starts to look like a Pre-Nazi Germany. Communists and Nazis were pledging two completely different ways of governing without even the intention to work together. Economical issues helped increase the tension and the need for finding a solution. Even if it happened to be a very bad one. We could argue that WWII was launched when the two sides in Germany started to radicalize and were actually fighting each other. Ideology was bigger than country.
Compromise doesn’t mean resilience. For now in the US, there is only cultural differences between the two ideologies. But if another recession comes around and it forces both sides to go without any willingness for compromise, it could easily turn badly. When people start to see their party as the only party to represent their values, they put it higher than their country.
How can you call yourself an American when you put your party lines higher than the Constitution upon which the country was created?
There are 300 million people in this country. And the spread of internet makes it easy for every body to react from the action of one person. Every day now we hear a racist person did this or that. Or a minority did something bad. Each side is using these localized incidents to work their extremist sides. Racists are a minority, but seeing them everyday we think they are everywhere. Minorities who commit crimes are a minority, but seeing them everyday we think that they all commit crimes. This incessant flow of unimportant things that are made important by ideological enablers are increasing tensions. People blame Russia for meddling in the US election. But Americans have to be blamed for being so easily manipulated. Going further, America has to be blamed for having such an uneducated population.
That’s when the leaders have to be the ones trying to bring peace to this process. Trump only tries to alienate everything and everyone not praising him. When the President of your country is telling you that that person, or that channel is biased, why wouldn’t you listen to him? He is the goddamn President. So a following is being created and only trusts what the President says. And on the other side, the side “who will save the Republic”, they design the party as the protector of everything that is “American”. Saying that everything done by this administration is “not who we are“, as if they never read any historical book about America. But people fall for it. The Democrats do not have a majestic leader yet, but the party is putting itself as the savior. People on the left already forgot that the DNC “cheated” to have Hilary as the Candidate. They forget that they have Super delegates to undermine their voters. They forget that the Dems were the racists until the 60s. They forget that Obama was tough on immigration, and that both him and Hilary were against gay marriage until it was politically beneficial to become for it. Elizabeth Warren made a beautiful speech calling for the Senators to “do [their] job” and nominate Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. Now, many democrats want them to stall Trump’s nominee. These same people will criticize the blind following of the deplorables behind Trump but they are as deplorable as them.
If you defend the bad actions of your comrades but denounce the ones of your enemies, you are biased, you are doing no good to this country and to the world. “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.