End Political Civil War, or Not?

There is a civil political war over American values and policies. Issues about climate change, immigration, human rights, gun control, taxes, health care, and education have all been areas where compromise and collaboration get thrown out the window. Where does this leave the American people? Nowhere, in-between, without leadership.

It’s disconcerting that our country can’t seem to find a political, or economical middle ground.  A divide is there between major parties of course, but the gap is widening so much that it’s inhibiting progress. From the Obama administration with the dead-locks in the senate, even though he was a conservative democrat, to the tea party, progressives, Trump, Sanders everything seems to be a fish out of water flopping back and forth, one extreme to the other.   

People want to believe in an American vision that encompasses everyone. We know not everyone agrees, but have we become unable to have a productive discussion? The propaganda and strategic dialogue concerning political agenda is apparently failing, and not only that, but why are the same bash-and-burn debate tactics still acceptable, as if at war with one another. The debates and considerations of our nation’s well-being don’t need to forsake mutual respect and appreciation. We can listen, even if someone has different morals than our own. We can disagree, but why put someone down? Sifting out what is productive, verses what isn’t, results in a more authentic and productive civilization.

So much of today’s political rhetoric is used to undermine opportunities for the public to hear a more policy driven discourse. We can change this. Narrow paradigms and words can easily create civil warfare, and acts of malice. Public political interaction is a lot of arguing in opposition to the current systems, so make smart arguments, not low blows. Finding ways to collaborate policies and prevent these civil divides finds our nation’s center. 

We tell ourselves that we’re not at war with one another, but are we not?  People admire the person that can make a good come back, admire strength and self boasting, or people trample on one another to get ahead. People compare and compete to only gloat over the looser, so these political games must play out because it’s what the public consumes. Imagine if a candidate admitted to the risks, admitted that they could be wrong while trying to do right. Imagine if this was reassuring to the public, and maybe that’s starting to happen a little within the transparency movement. Imagine if votes were free from the calamities of rhetorical agendas. We don’t need a rough, tough attitude in our political dialogue, or with one another. We need visionaries that can care about everyone.

Fighting against one another in political debates when the strategy, lies, and method are all about the tactics of selling yourself to the public results in a condulated impression of a candidate. Just how much of our political education and choice is based on the influence of public commentary rather than research? Laziness enables ignorance. If we could remove the drama from the political stage and only talk about policy, that would be offering the public something honest. There’s just one problem, that’s impossible since we are walking, talking, feeling, dramatic creatures and will never escape our incivilities, but we can at least try.

The hard dilemma is when we talk and talk and talk and no one bends, no one gives, and everyone has their reasons. We get great civil divides. What happens when the majority of people in a society feel enslaved, unhappy, unable to live in a world they dream of because our shared world is too violent, too expensive, too prejudice. In war, we think of individuals sacrificing their life, dying, standing up no matter what the cost, or the loss for a cause. Take the civil war for example, when does society become so corrupt that war becomes the only means to abolishing something as cruel as slavery. We see people giving their lives today for what they believe. Just recently, many politicians have lost their careers, or even imprisoned for standing up for what they believed. This happens in the public sectors constantly when people are just trying to maintain civil rights.

Today, have the American people become so oppressed and outraged with racism, inequality, class separation, lack of a living wage, repeated recessions, big bank bailouts and corporate tax breaks that we are at the brink demanding political reform for the sake of civil rights and dignity? Do the political extremes right now have value, and are they validated? Our eyes must be open to what happens in the local communities all the way up to corporate systems if we want to help change America’s discourse and standards.    

Consider if our economy is really working for the general public when decades go by and most people, the backbone of our nation, struggle to make ends meet? Why is food so expensive compared to our salaries, compared to housing, or clothes? Do we like enslaving ourselves and others? Yes, a huge part of capitalism and political agenda is about this exactly. We have the opinion to create better, and still we go around the same issues, using the same political tactics. Who will step out of the box? Where are the nostalgic American opportunities when we send children out to the world with thousands of dollars in debt the day after we clap over the cap and gown.  Have we become uncivil? Morally confused? 

In view of this and many other issues, people might feel like we need a radical person, to shake the systems. Obviously, the Republicans thought so when they elected Trump. From Obama to Trump had everyone asking, who are we? These are the years of America’s identity crisis. Hopefully, all the civil movements and public efforts throughout this past decade is just the beginning to finding America’s new soul. It is time for a death and rebirth. It is time for drastic change and remodeling, and change is in the face of togetherness, to build on better values, better policies. What does our political arena look like; a gladiator stage full of old white men serving money, or a room full of scholars serving the communities, and fighting for a healthy, diverse, and working America? 

If people in congress won’t reach across the aisle in generosity and listen to one another, then we see the emergence of radical people who will push change onward. For example, no one took urgent action after Al Gore’s warnings on global warming, how would a Greata Thunberg not emerge some twenty years later? How wouldn’t activists groups like Black Lives Matter, or LGBTQ advocates, or the women’s march not have a radical voice considering our political climate? All the while, democrats and republicans are at war with one another over preferences instead of community mindfulness. 

Perhaps this pattern of extremes is another phase of actual diversity in American politics. Perhaps the battle is good, dragging us out of old traditions that America has outgrown.  Will we truly celebrate diversity? The answers are in our own attitudes. Do we war with the world around us, or do we find solutions, be willing to listen, to share space with one another, to accept other perspectives? These are the responsibilities of the leaders, the individual, and the public if we expect anything from the political arena to resemble American values. If we don’t get the foundation right with the basics of equality and quality living, our systems crumble. I hope that in the spirit of collaboration, we can focus on living a better future- today.

4 thoughts on “End Political Civil War, or Not?

  1. The consumer economy, which is based on motivating people to buy things they don’t really need (and which is falling like a house of cards now) has created a public that doesn’t think for itself and that can be manipulated by the billionaire class. Education, which they increasingly make private, remains key. Maybe this current crisis will wake up the people. You can see that the real-time result of such an ignorant, doped up public and government is more people dying from this virus.

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  2. I thought that this blog is refreshing Kate. It helps us do more thinking about what is right in front of us.

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  3. I don’t think the divide between people can be bridged. There’s no way to talk about the issues and it is us vs them. You can’t “compromise,” on some things. It’s simply not possible. The government is exerting too much control over people and and our civil rights are disappearing faster and faster. People are forced into poverty, as you mentioned, an insane minimum wage, that is clearly unlivable, while they vote themselves six figure raises. Choice shouldn’t even be an issue. We have to keep fighting for a woman to have control over her own body over and over again and women aren’t even in on the discussion. Roe vs Wade is constantly under attack. Violence agains women never ends, the south side of Chicago needs grocery stores, it’s called a food desert, but the government couldn’t care less about the people, it works for itself now. The isms are too big. People are still wrapped int he confederate flag, fighting a war that doesn’t exist. City vs towns and down state. Hate crimes are not uncommon. I could go on, but there is no middle ground. Not today. People are either for or against. We have absolutely no leadership. None. The elites have no idea what people on the ground are living through. They don’t understand that they work for us. Our governor and mayor have turned into hypocritical bullies. More people than ever don’t have insurance, since it came with jobs they no longer have. It never ends. People are being manipulated by the media, in all of it’s forms, by those who OWN it. They lie and encourage violence and hatred. I was in a lecture, watching footage from the news, the REAL footage, where a dead teenager, who had just been shot, was laying in the street. The reporter walked up to a little boy, about eight and asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. The boy said, “I’m gonna get me a gun.” and they cut the tape. What the boy actually said, was, “I”m gonna get me a gun and become a police man so no one gets killed anymore.” But if you want to encourage racism, you just don’t show that part. You lie. You don’t show the truth. So, no. There’s nothing to talk about. People re either on one side or the other. George Orwell’s 1984, was just a preview.

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