Many political observers, from casual ones, to those, with a professional discipline in this area (in order to possess, some degree of political and historical perspective), question, why is it, the current period, seems, unlike most in recent memory! This feeling stems from an examination, of a combination of factors, including the tone of the rhetoric/ vitriol, the emphasis on polarizing, instead of unifying, and the oppositional/ adversarial, attitude, where not only do so many individuals, possess their own opinions (which is somewhat normal), but it seems, they believe they are entitled to their own facts, as well, and an unwillingness, to seek a meeting – of – the – minds, and reach some degree of common ground. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, some examples of the inherent danger, to our nation, when political differences, become, so very personal!
1. Social media: Whichever Social Media, you might use, participate in, or, even, casually review/ read/ peruse, you probably have observed, when it comes to political posts, and perspectives, the discussion, almost always, goes well beyond, a discussion of politics, with various concerns, etc, and, invariably, begins a discussion, which becomes increasingly personal! An individual, on one end of the political spectrum, brings up a point, which he feels is significant, and important, and, those with different views, often go beyond, disagreeing, but begin to call someone, names, or cites, often, examined, and disproven, so – called, facts. Perhaps, because of the polarizing nature of President Donald Trump, and his tendency to quote, anything, which supports his agenda, and disparages, anything and anyone, who disagrees/ differs, his supporters have begun to feel entitled, to proceed, likewise, and are unwilling to maintain, an open – mind. Unless/ until, those on both sides of the spectrum, avoid personal attacks, and stick to the facts, and seek viable, relevant, sustainable solutions, this will probably get worse!
2. Today, versus the past: President Trump uses rhetoric, to inspire and motivate his core supporters, with many references to the past, and how great, many perceive it, to be. When one uses a slogan, Make America Great Again, isn’t the inference, we should try to go back, to the past, rather than look ahead, to the future, and the possibilities? Wouldn’t it be nice, if our political leaders, behaved more like, Chris Matthews, discussed in his book, about Tip O’Neal, and Ronald Reagan which was, being political foes, during the day, but social friends, with a mutual respect, after – hours?
3. The attack on the Press: This nation was founded on many principles, and freedoms, perhaps, none, more essential and important, than the need, and the right, to a Free Press. When the President refers to the media, as the Enemy of the People, doesn’t it go against, the concept of mutual respect, and the right to differ, politically, while respecting the rights of those who you disagree with?
These are only, a few of the current issues, which are keeping our nation, divided, by expanding the personal vitriol, rather than keeping it professional, and issues – oriented. Don’t complain about political leaders, but, make them accountable for, their actions, and the level of their rhetoric!