Not too long ago, after watching my neighbor’s FUCK BIDEN flag proudly flutter in the afternoon breeze, I wondered if there wasn’t something that we could / I could / you could do to make things better instead of even more divisive, and I got the seed of an idea. Not a complete idea, just a thought: Maybe I/we could sponsor some sort of contest to encourage people to write songs or poems about unity or the goodness of our nation.
I emailed a couple buddies and my favorite college professor – the only person with the possible exception of Vince Lombardi that I have ever idolized or revered – to see what they thought of my notion. The response I got from my professor was quick and clear, and the caps are his: I HATE THE LEFT.
It was hard not to take that personally and I was a bit crushed. So, I’m the enemy? I’m the problem? I’m the hated ‘left’? Wow.
I have always thought of myself as a reasonably educated, rational, thinking person who approaches each issue singularly, and who either works to become informed enough to have a valid opinion or who keeps his mouth shut. To be characterized as ‘hated’ was somewhat of a mind-blower. And I wondered if maybe I am ‘the left’.
I do not like the idea of millions of immigrants entering our country each year, straining the economy and having my tax dollars used to support them. I also do not like the idea of separating kids from parents and shipping them off to what amounts to concentration camps. Isn’t there something in-between? Can’t we do something like buying a big plot of land in Mexico, or even Texas, and building some sort of reasonable temporary living space for the prospective immigrants to stay in until they either go through the proper channels to enter legally or until they realize that they need to go back home? Is that ‘the left’?
Generally speaking, I am not in favor of abortion. And while separation of church and state is a basic tenet upon which this country was founded, it gets totally ignored when this issue comes up! I believe that abortion has no place in the courts and that it should not be decided by old fat white male politicians whose procreating days have long ago passed. It seems to me that abortion should be a decision left to be made by a woman and her healthcare provider. Is that ‘the left’? Or just common sense?
We in the middle need to stand up and really be counted and take America back from the media and the radicals on both sides.
I do not like the idea of spending trillions of dollars that we don’t have for the sake of revitalizing America, but I also don’t like the idea of worrying about driving my car across the rickety bridge that I have to traverse to buy groceries. Can’t we get things done without going so far into debt? Isn’t there a view other than either ‘government exists to provide social services’ or ‘government has no place providing social services’? I mean, we need some services! Is that ‘the left’?
I do not like gerrymandering. Complete BS. Cheating, really. Create districts that make geographical sense and live with the votes. Is that ‘the left’?
I have guns. I like to shoot them. But I do not think that private citizens need automatic assault weapons. I am tired of the way the words ‘militia’ and ‘well-regulated’ disappear from the Second Amendment whenever it is discussed. And I really don’t like the way this issue is decided by lobbyists who constitute the rotten underside of U.S. politics. That probably is ‘the left’, but I’ll give you that one.
I do not like paper ballots that are counted by humans. You don’t have to look any further than Oregon or Hawaii to see a reasonable, secure, trustworthy way to handle voting. States that continue to use paper ballots or easily-hacked voting machines are doing so only so they can affect the outcomes. This is way too easy to fix and continuing to use the methods we’re using is lunacy. Is that ‘the left’?
I believe that most social media apps – especially Facebook – are inherently evil, especially when moderated for profit. I believe that the software giants: Microsoft, Google and Apple are WAY out of control, now coercing us to ‘sign in’ just to use WORD or make a phone call, and that Congress, although busy doing other stuff, needs to put some regulation into place. Data mining is rampant and all you folk out there that happily let these companies track and record every single thing you do or click on will one day soon finally realize the damage you have done to yourselves. Is that ‘the left’?
I REALLY don’t like the way the Buttinskies have wreaked havoc on our education system by thinking it is their job to dictate curriculum and policy. From ‘One Nation Under God’, to evolution, to now this ridiculous argument over critical race theory, the politicians, the religious, and yes, even parents, have made the job of teaching all but impossible and need to butt the f**k out and let our well-trained and skilled educators educate. Is that ‘the left’?
I do not like watching the Capitol Building being stormed and crazies searching for Congresspeople to kill. I do not like having a traitorous president that plans an insurrection and lies about everything constantly and undermines our democracy by working to invalidate elections so he can nullify the 22nd and 25th amendments and make himself King. What if Hillary had incited a riot and encouraged people to disrupt Congress? At least she actually won the popular vote and would have had a valid claim! I expect the peaceful transfer of power that we have enjoyed after every single election since 1789 to take place every time. Is that ‘the left’?
Am I the hated left that my professor is angry with? Or am I just a guy who had an idea to try to make things better? Because I believe that I am in the middle. I believe both sides are full of crap from time to time. And I believe that millions and millions of Americans are with me in the middle. But politicians and media personnel get more clicks, views and votes by eliminating the gray and making everything black or white, which of course none of it – none – really is.
Because I voted for Biden does not mean I agree with AOC. Because I voted for Biden does not mean that I have the slightest bit of faith in the idea that Kamala Harris would be, could be, or is a good leader. Because I voted for Biden does not mean that I think we should let everyone that wants to come in, come in. No matter how much people try to make it simple; so black and white, it is not, never has been and never will be. Those of us in the middle (that I believe to be in the majority) need to embrace the middle and stop letting politicians and media personnel or even beloved professors plop us on one side or the other.
I am not the left. I am just a guy that loves his country. A guy who gets watery eyes every time he hears the national anthem no matter how hard he tries to not. I am a guy that remembers the bicentennial celebrations and the pride he felt every time he saw the stars & stripes and who now flinches at the flag, as it has in some perverted way become a symbol for ‘the right’.
The two-party system is broken. Adding a third or fourth party will just water down the votes and make it hard to get a majority – I get that. But this is not working. The only way to make things better is for us to stop going out of our way to divide and to start working together as Americans. We in the middle need to stand up and really be counted and take America back from the media and the radicals on both sides.
Maybe it would help if we all took the time to concentrate on the good and write a little poem about it – it couldn’t hurt.
Stefán Neary lives with his family in New England,
where he works as an IT consultant and part-time chef.