I wonder if we Americans will ever stop biting and snarling at each other from our respective left-right boxes. This polarization is encouraged by those who pick our pockets; nothing like a red hot diversion to facilitate pocket-picking.
Actually, most Americans are uncomfortable stuffed into either the box on the right or the box on the left. Those in the boxes snarl at the outliers, they say they are wishy-washy, they say “jump in this box or jump in the other one, you’re with us or you’re against us,” to coin a phrase.
I’m sort of a lefty. I know the left thinks it is the smart box, the rational box, the box of the cool critical thinkers. On the few occasions when I have said something outside the left box, I have been blasted with the same level of vitriol as when I say something outside the right box. The only difference is that the left uses bigger words. Yet both can descend pretty quickly to using shorter words, right down to the four-letter variety.
For example, if I say abortion is a complex moral question, I will be roundly attacked by the left-“Oh so you hate women! You want them chained to the kitchen sink by their fallopian tubes?!” If I say citizens must never be allowed to starve in America, I get roundly attacked from the right. “Fu**ing Commie.” See what I mean? Same irrational hatred, only the left uses words like “fallopian tubes.”
Brothers and sisters, we can do better. It will take a conscious effort-first to not snap off someone’s head if it appears they disagree and second to not respond with fury if they try to snap off our heads.
I have faith in us. I think we can do it. I think we can have a decent, respectful debate. Let’s start today.