Fathers and daughters not speaking to each other. Decades-long friendships broken and volatile. Siblings screaming at each other, saying terrible, hurtful things. More and more, this is America. Angry, divided, hyper-political.
What separates us today are not the age-old differences between Republicans and Democrats, or conservatives and liberals, or the right and left. What has divided us and continues to divide us today is Donald Trump. We love him and hope that he becomes King and lives forever. Or we start each morning praying that this will be the day he dies. There is no in-between, no agreeing to disagree, no compromise. It is this irreconcilable difference that continues to tear our once-great nation apart.
The worst part is the hate. The gut-wrenching emotion so intense that we turn on each other instead of the elected leaders that work to incite we, the masses, in an attempt to assure their re-election or forward their point of view. Add the recently revealed manipulation social media sites perpetrate on us as pawns, causing us to waste hours and hours in angry venting on useless, mind-numbing Facebook, and the hate rapidly grows – just like they want.
Where we once gauged people by their personality or education or favorite team, how many of us have not recently based our first impression of a person on who we presume they voted for? And then, based on that one idea, offer either a handshake or disdain?
The thing about it is that the person in the White House almost never actually affects our day to day lives. Yes, it feels good to have leaders that share our points of view, but other than that the machine just keeps running, with lobbyists actually calling the shots, and our lives rarely changing at all when the President does.
Since Trump did not win the popular vote in either the ’16 or ’20 elections it is difficult to imagine him doing so in ’24, unless the Dems are stupid enough to nominate the clearly non-presidential Harris, in which case he might be able pull it off. But either way, in a very few years – no more than seven – Trump will be dead or done.
Your sister, however, will still be your sister and your dad will still be your dad and your neighbor will still be living next door! Especially in small town America, where we often see each other and know each other well, letting anyone or any kind of politics divide us is just plain silly. Because the only thing flying a FUCK BIDEN flag really accomplishes is teaching the children that play each day within its view how to hate and correctly spell ‘fuck’.
We gotta stop the hate. We gotta not teach our kids to hate. We gotta put things in perspective and focus on – dare I say – unity and love.
Trump is transient. So is Pelosi and McConnell and Schumer and all of them. Family is not. Friends from college made decades ago are not. Citizens of Your Town are not. Let’s make an honest effort to concentrate on friends and family and love and unity and let the politicians roll along, pursuing what’s in their best interest first, and not get caught up in their games, their manipulation and their selfish tactics.
We must rise above. We must be better and smarter than those we have elected to represent us. It is up to us to save America from them.
When you start to hate; when you feel that anger; when you want to hit something or throw something, turn away and find something to love – like your kids or your neighbor. Call that college buddy and talk about the good times. Connect with your siblings and make sure they know that you care. MLK taught us that “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Granted, we need Great Pyramid-sized love, but we cannot give in to the hate or we will be lost. We had it right back in the 60s and 70s: Love is the answer.
Stefán Neary lives with his family in New England,
where he works as an IT consultant and part-time chef.